Structural design is predicated on the integration of physical laws and mathematical principles into the construction industry. Civil engineers must employ structural design to conduct empirical research and analysis to evaluate the building’s structural design and the strength of various materials. The purpose of structural design is to guarantee that a built structure will be sturdy enough to support its intended weight and withstand any weather or other natural hazards that may arise.
In this article, we will delve into why structural design is important for construction.
What is Structural Design?
A building’s design is the very heart and soul of construction. The design process entails conceptualizing and organizing the development of a project. It’s a broad idea whose meaning shifts from one area to the next and even from one thing to the next.
Structural design services deal with the development of the “bones and muscles” that provide a physical form to a building or other man-made structure. This subfield of civil engineering requires a great deal of expertise. Structures are built to house people and serve a variety of other human needs. Therefore, they must be designed with their occupants’ safety in mind. This is very necessary not just for the occupants’ comfort, but also for their protection.
Here are a few reasons why structural design is vital:
1. Guarantees the Structure’s Construction and Design
Detailed information regarding the building’s footings, walls, floors, roofing, steep beams, quality of materials, and more are provided during structural design. Civil engineers must take aesthetics into account while designing and constructing buildings so that accidents are avoided. In reality, the possibility of a building collapsing owing to its weight or environmental pressures is always present if the structural design is not taken into account during construction. Therefore, structural design is fundamental to building projects since it affects the stability and longevity of the buildings.
2. Enables More Effective Material Management
Integral to structural planning is making sure that all building supplies are used effectively. To ensure the structural integrity and practicality of the buildings without incurring extra costs, civil engineers must select the best material quality.
Engineers rely heavily on structural design work for guidance in every step of their projects. Structural designing is important because it ensures the stability and safety of all structural elements through extensive testing, assessments, and inspections within the constraints of the project’s budget, as well as the operational safety and practical working of the structure itself.
3. Offers a Comprehensive Overview of the Structure
The structure must be thoroughly analyzed by structural engineers using structural engineering concepts. In this way, you know that the building complies with all relevant building codes and design standards. Civil engineers can learn more about how much weight a building or other structure can support by performing in-depth analyses of the structure. In addition, data regarding wind speed and the building’s general usefulness in different climates will be collected. Moreover, you can also get a construction cost estimation. A consulting firm can help you to know the maximum load a bridge can support or the estimated magnitude of a tremor that a skyscraper can sustain is just one example of how such information might assist avert future disasters.
4. Helps in making important decisions
The structural design also helps in making important decisions such as:
· Type of Construction
Appropriate choice of the structural system in bearing walls, frames, etc., based on the purpose and size of the building, local availability, zoning restrictions, limitations of building code, and comparative costs of all materials like structural steel, precast concrete, reinforced concrete, and wood.
· Column Locations
A Stable Grid That Reduces Expenses, Speeds Up Construction Improves Bay Dimensional Efficiency, and Streamlines Repetitive Member Sizing.
· Placement of Walls
Shear walls or vertical bracing must be placed accurately to prevent horizontal powers such as earthquakes or wind from penetrating the superstructure and weakening the foundation. There is careful thought given to positioning to meet both aesthetic and practical requirements.
Heights of the floor, floor penetration, roof penetration, outside cladding, and alterations to existing buildings are also crucial aspects of structural engineering and design.
5. Protects from liability
The process of design requires not only imagination and conceptual thinking but it requires knowledge of basic mechanics including physics and chemistry of materials. Sound knowledge of practical aspects such as basic mechanics, recent design codes, and bye-laws provide the guideline for safe structural design. The codes also provide legal support. If a structure fails due to faulty construction or by using bad materials, the code can protect the designer from any responsibility if any, only if they followed all the guidelines of the design codes. Any structure to be constructed must satisfy the need and efficiency for which it is intended and must be durable for its desired lifespan.
The goal of structural design is to create a building that will last its intended lifespan without succumbing to any of the loads it is subjected to, as well as meeting the needs of its inhabitants. In addition, the structure must be built so that it is safe and usable for its intended purpose when subjected to the loads and actions that will occur over its useful life. The primary goals of structural design are to ensure that the structure will last as long as it can with as little care and repair as possible throughout its entire useful life span.