Putting ‘Design’ (and much more) in Design-Build: Part 3


​In this third part of Putting ‘Design’ (and much more) in Design-Build I’d like to give you a more detailed look at the structural engineering portion of building design.

Structural engineers are responsible for determining the best materials and construction techniques for each building to ensure it can withstand any forces it may be up against. Because there is no way to predict exactly what those forces might be, we pull knowledge from past experiences and examine statistics and codes to determine the best solution for each building.

Working from the ground up, our team of engineers determine the structural components for each building, including the gravity system (foundation, columns, beams, etc.), and the lateral system (walls and framing). First, we factor in what will be needed to support the self-weight of the structure and the interiors such as furniture and occupant loads. We then consider what external forces may challenge the structure. As an example, we conduct simulations of what a building’s movement may be when tested against different combinations of wind loads. Check out the video above for an example.

At Opus, our structural engineering difference is that we collaborate with project managers and architects before we even select materials, allowing us to find the most cost effective, efficient and construction-friendly design. The collaboration continues throughout the project, ensuring fast solutions to any issues that may arise.

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4