A consulting engineer is an essential component of your commercial construction project. He or she plays a crucial role in the planning, design and execution phase of the project. Below is a guide on the work of consulting engineers.
Hire the engineer once you decide to construct the commercial building. The professional will conduct a survey to determine the viability of your project. He or she will visit the site to examine the soil structure. It will help him or her determine what kind of structure the soil can support. Besides, he or she will check the vulnerability of the area to natural hazards such as storms and winds. If it is vulnerable, the engineer will advise you on a suitable foundation and orientation. The engineer may also examine the building code and zoning regulations to know whether you will get approval for your project.
The engineer will closely work with the architect during the design phase. He or she will provide vital advice regarding the following:
- The type of foundation to use at the base. For example, raft and pile foundations are ideal when building multi-storey buildings.
- The kind of support systems to use when building the structure.
- How to manage loads during construction. For example, you could use precast concrete slabs with polyethylene spheres to cut the weight of the slabs. You could also use structural steel, cambering or cellular beams.
- Safety features. The building will require emergency exits, fire doors and an allocation for smoke extraction systems to drive away the smoke.
The engineer will also consult with you and the architect to determine key property features. For example, if the building will have heavy human traffic, you need broad stairways and elevators to prevent congestion. The professionals will also help you determine suitable floor size. Today, customers need large offices or homes with and open design. This allows them to customise the space to suit their needs.
The engineer will supervise the construction work to ensure the builder follows the architect's blueprints and specifications. He or she will also conduct routine inspections to ensure workers follow the required safety precautions. For instance, they should have protective clothing. The professional, in collaboration with the architect and contractor, will find suitable solutions to construction challenges. For example, they might advise you on how to react to a sudden change of weather or recommend suitable alternatives if you can no longer access the required construction materials.
A consulting engineer will handle your commercial construction project from start to finish. Hire a specialised engineer with years of experience and a professional indemnity cover.