Structural engineering is one of the most fundamental engineering disciplines because it deals directly with the structural integrity and strength of a building or structure. Thus all construction projects must utilize the principles of structural engineering in order for the new building or structure to bear its own load and to be able to withstand the demands that will be placed upon it. Let’s take a closer look at what structural engineering is, why it is so important, and how Fittz & Shipman assists its clients with this service.

What Is Structural Engineering?

Structural engineering is founded on the principles of physics and mathematics. It involves applying knowledge of physical laws as well as empirical research into the strength of different materials as well as the necessary geometry and calculations required for a structure to be sound. Some key ways that structural engineering affects projects include the design of the structure and an analysis of the structure.

Design of the Structure – Structures must be designed so that they can withstand their own weight as well as the loads and pressures that will be placed upon them. Structural engineers provide crucial information about roof types, foundations, floors, steel beams, material quality, retaining walls, and more. A structure that does not consider structural engineering in its design runs the risk of collapsing under its own weight or under the environmental pressures placed on it.

Analysis of the Structure – A thorough analysis of the structure according to the principles of structural engineering will ensure that the new building or structure is up to all necessary design codes. Careful analysis also yields information about the load the structure can bear, the wind velocity it can withstand and the overall capability and utility of the building.

Why Is Structural Engineering Important?

Structural engineering is crucial because it directly impacts the safety and durability of buildings and structures. For example it is structural engineering that allows for an accurate estimation of safe weight maximums on bridges, the storm force winds a warehouse or facility can withstand, or the magnitude of tremors a skyscraper can endure during an earthquake.

Structural engineering is also tasked with ensuring that materials and resources are used efficiently. For example structural engineers must be able to determine the optimal material grade that ensures safety and function without unnecessarily raising costs. Structural engineers must also be able to work within the design aesthetics called for by the project. Thus structural engineering plays a crucial role by marrying visual appeal, practical function, and budgetary resources in a way that satisfies all needs.

Fittz & Shipman’s Structural Engineering Services

Fittz & Shipman offers structural engineering as one of our core services. Together our senior staff have over 150 years of combined experience in this important discipline. We can assist our clients with structural engineering services at all phases of their projects. We will conduct evaluations and inspections of the foundation and design, perform all necessary calculations, conduct rigorous structural testing, inspections, investigations, and studies, and even assist with acquiring building permits. We are proud to offer this fundamental, important engineering service to our clients and we strive to deliver nothing but the best, strongest, and safest results for our community.