A structural design process involves designing a functional building structure under any worst load it may experience. The role of a civil structural engineer involves analyzing, designing, and detailing a building’s structure for creating structural drawings. In addition to creative and conceptual reasoning, structural planning, and design necessitates an in-depth familiarity with relevant practical details, such as up-to-date design codes and bylaws, and a healthy amount of experience, competence, and strong judgment.
1. Conceptual Design
A structural design engineer will analyze the drawings created by the architects first to create a civil and structural design of building plan. The engineer will analyze the various spaces in the residential, commercial, or industrial building to create civil engineering design. Conditions at the site are evaluated, including the soil report, the exposure category, the wind load, and the seismic load for the design of steel structures, and design of concrete structures.
Engineers perform preliminary designs of architectural components after environmental factors have been established, including roof, wall, and floor plans according to architectural drawings for structural steel building design. Footings, slabs, load bearing walls, beams, and columns are designed after finding and coordinating mechanical, electrical, and plumbing clashes.
2. Load Analysis
All potential live and dead loads experienced by a building over its lifetime should be analyzed by a civil engineer. Thus, you need to think about the varying loads based on the location of your structure. You can find the values of these loads by consulting the relevant structural design codes and references. There are a variety of loads acting on the building at the same time in the real world.
It is important to assess the whole load for the design and drawing of steel structures. Part of performing a loads analysis is determining which load combinations are the worst for your structure. Autodesk Revit and Tekla, are two examples of BIM structural engineering software that can be set to generate all possible loads automatically.
3. Structural Analysis
Civil engineers are the ones responsible for doing structural analysis on the structural members. Shear, bending moment, normal, and torsion stress diagrams, as well as responses and deformations or deflections caused by the various load combinations, are all included in the structural analysis. Software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) structural analysis, such as Autodesk Revit and Tekla, is used for both basic and advanced structural analysis.
4. System Design
When the preliminary design of the structure has been finished, the civil engineer will shift their focus to the design of the system using a top-down approach. It is absolutely necessary to have a good grasp of the load path of the structure, with particular attention paid to the effects of gravity loads, lateral loads, and uplift on the various parts contained within the structure. When the engineer has a general concept of the load path of the structure, they will start initial designs of the various structural systems.
5. Element Detailing
The specific design of structural elements is detailed with accurate dimensions. The civil engineer will perform detailed member analysis for certain spans, such as estimating the loads that will be placed on the roof. It is possible to significantly cut down on the cost of constructing structures by planning the details of steel connections carefully in advance.
6. Iterative Design and Drafting
The iterative approach is utilized by civil engineers in order to fine-tune the structural design. Revit helps project teams uncover insights and drive outcomes with data by providing integrated analysis tools and interoperability support for a broad range of CAD and BIM applications. Because of the modification of the structural analysis model, it now incorporates load routes that are more accurate.
7. Construction Administration
Structural contractors should ensure that the building structure design and construction are carried out as per the construction shop drawings. So, proper construction administration is required for a structurally sound building. In the later stages of the building process, the engineer is frequently asked to perform tasks such as review requests for information (RFI) and deferred submittals, acquire code approvals, or develop construction schedules.
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