Structural engineering is a main part of civil engineering and mainly deals with the construction process. It was first seen way back in 27th century BC when the famous step pyramid was constructed. Leonardo Da Vinci was always ahead of his time and created some outstanding designs by using structural designs and engineering.
In 19th and 20th centuries, these construction activities went in full flow when steel was mainly used to build huge structures namely World Trade Centre, Eiffel Tower and several other skyscrapers as well as infrastructure projects.
By the advancement of technology and introducing CAD for design and analysis, structural designing and engineering has become a part of both building as well as non-building structures.
Engineers who are expert in structural estimations are given the responsibilities to make designs, examine the steels, assessing safety measures and even structural analysis of the upcoming structures to be constructed.
The main designers of buildings are engineer and architects. This may look confusing at the roles of these two are never clear cut and many times overlapping. And for that, you need to clear the confusion at first.
What or who is an engineer? An engineer is someone who designs and builds to benefit the society. They use complex calculations and science to build structures and design equipment and processes.
What or who is an architect? An architect is a dreamer. He dreams about structures and buildings and designs accordingly. So, it is unknown to us about the jobs of an engineer and an architect. It is similar in certain ways but also varies at the same time.
Have you ever been in a skyscraper? 90 years ago, there were no skyscrapers as such. The tallest buildings would be about 10 storeys high. This was because; the materials used for constructing them were mainly wood.
Architects were eager to build taller buildings but were unable to do so due to aninadequate supply of stronger beams that can hold them together. This iswhy engineers started developing stronger steel beams that were tall and can resist the weight of tall buildings. These beams are now used to build tall skyscrapers as well as bridges. Thus, nowadays you can see tall skyscrapers shoot up the sky.
Teacher’s concept and lesson background
An engineer and architect both are required for designing and building structure, whether it a house, a skyscraper or any monument. An architect is responsible for designing and drawing the plans for every structure. The goal of an architect is to design according to the customer’s requirements.
On the other hand, structural engineers are responsible for making the designs into a building with all the complex measurements and calculations. They ensure that the designs are functional and safe to be used.
The main difference between an architect and an engineer is that architect focuses on design while engineers focus on thetechnical and structural side. Architect tries to make the building aesthetically pleasing, while engineers look after it being safe and functional.
Architects make the designs according to customer’s requirements, while engineers make sure to design the structures according to the design made by the architects. They do all the blueprints and technical drawings.
The points below state the importance of structural designing and engineering for latest foundations and structures:
Supporting Structural Design
In designing every individual building in whole, structural engineering plays an important role. Modern designs and intricate ones demand for being more creative for supporting good load resistance systems.
Expert engineers in structural designing are capable of providing information about foundation detailing. They also inform about the floors, types of roof and also therespective quantity of steel required including the alignments that lead to stability and durability of walls and suspension bridges. According to the requirements,these structural engineers make drawings and sketches.
Analysis of Structures
Nowadays, almost all buildings are complexly designed, and composite materials are used for its constructions. This is why these structures must be analysed effectively to maintain its reliability, balance, safety, material quality & stress consumption ability that are based on ascientific basis.
Architectural engineers mostly appoint structural engineers as their sub-consultants who help them to both analyse internal &external factors like wind velocity, nodes, intersections, load, landscape and components on its utility, capabilities and steel system. They generallydetails capabilities of buildings regarding performance and support that satisfies building design codes, criteria, aesthetic features and also customer needs.
Assessing safety measures
In architectural engineering, structural engineering plays an important role. It predicts the safety of a building and assesses its capacity and stability of it during static and dynamic loading.
Structural engineers are responsible for checking all the internal and external problems like earthquakes, fractures, and materials used, creep, vibration, temperature, dynamics, the wind and structural fatigues that have their results in the structure.
It also installs structural abilities to show signs of warning before collapsing of post-tensioned and pre-stressed structures. They also lookat the longevity of these structures once they are constructed, keeping in mind the safety and security of workers, residents and visitors put there.
Structural designing helps in outlining the behaviour of every individual structure members and its suitable geometries as well as its material requirements for them. Structural designing separates every complex structure into individual structures that help in construction and analysing each part separately.
Detailed structuring of steel used, fabrication requirements, theheight of the structure, alignments, composite structures as well as replacement designs.
By this process, it also gives a broad idea about the frames, beams, girders, columns and gantries used. This allows the builders to test design efficiency, figure out materials needed and also estimate thecost of constructing it adding extra creative and efficient resources.