JRG’s structural engineering services can provide you and your construction projects with expert consulting and design knowledge on all types of buildings, including:
- Commercial, mixed-use
- Multi-family/ townhouse
- Residential/ custom homes
Not sure if your project needs a structural engineer? Or what a structural engineer does? Let’s delve into what exactly structural engineers do and why you might require our services.
Why hire a structural engineer?
As a general rule of thumb, assume any modification to the structure of a building or property, should be reviewed by a structural engineer.
Structural engineers are an essential part of building design and construction and there are several occasions when a property owner or buyer would require their services, such as:
- Building additions
- Modifying doors or windows
- Loft conversions
- Removing or altering internal walls
- Underpinning foundations
- Retaining walls
- New build custom homes
Whether you are starting a new build from scratch or are updating, structural engineers are there to ensure your designs and visions are accomplished safely and according to the BC Building Code.
What is structural engineering?
Simply put, a structural engineer is responsible for ensuring that buildings and other structures alike do not collapse or sustain significant structural damage. They will look at every structural aspect of a building design to guarantee it can withstand the loads and stresses placed on it to ensure it remains safe for occupants and users. You could say they are the guardians of safe construction.
Structural engineers ensure a building’s framework is safe by applying these fundamental principles to their work:
- Laws of Physics
- Empirical Knowledge
The principles of structural engineering were used thousands of years ago when building structures like the Pyramids in Egypt or the Colosseum in Rome.
What can structural engineers do?
Structural engineers are trained individuals who apply their technical knowledge to calculate any lateral and vertical loads that the building may encounter. This could be elements such as wind, snow or seismic activity (depending on the location of the building) since, here in Vancouver, earthquakes are a factor to consider.
The engineer would then decide on materials, designs and construction methods that ensure the building resists all these potential environmental stresses – all while staying within budgets and maintaining the desired aesthetic of the building. We are also valuable partners to:
- Other engineers
Why use a firm that combines structural and envelope engineering?
An envelope engineer is concerned with every aspect of a building’s performance:
- Levels of air leakage
- The integrity of air and vapour diffusion/barriers
- Insulation performance
- Energy consumption
Their goal is to create the most efficient building envelope and to ensure indoor comfort and effective energy performance.
In Vancouver, the Vancouver Building By-Law regulates the design and construction of buildings.
By hiring an engineering company that combines structural and envelope engineering, you can rest assured that every aspect of your construction project is taken into consideration and meets by-law requirements, including the BC Energy Step Code.
The Vancouver Building By-Law mandates engaging a Certified Energy Advisor, which JRG provides as well.
There is no shortcut to competency and safety. However, there is a solution – JRG delivers well-rounded support and the extensive structural/envelope engineering knowledge that your project needs.