Not understanding the behavior of a structure is a mistake that can have extreme consequences. When a structure is not designed with the behavior of the structure in mind, the building might collapse. There are several mistakes that a structural engineer needs to avoid.
Numbers Must Be Written Down Properly
Oftentimes, structural problems result simply from numbers being written down improperly or by a mistake being made when someone looks up a number. This problem most often occurs when an engineer is working very quickly to meet a deadline. It's important that engineers be given plenty of time so that they can examine values and ensure that they are correct.
When performing numerical operations, it's important to be familiar with unit conversions and their relationships. It's also important to use common sense to examine the results of the calculations and question whether the result makes sense. Incorrect calculations can lead to several problems, such as an increase in internal force, excessive deflection, and a reduction in load capacity.
Engineers Must Use the Right Software
Fortunately it's easier to avoid mistakes and design a building with precision when you use the latest technology available to structural engineers. Software programs can analyze complex designs and can also optimize the design to avoid mistakes and miscalculations. Still, even when using software, it's important for engineers to carefully add the right inputs. Structural design programs in the cloud make structural engineering software affordable.
One of the most important things that a structural engineering firm must do is estimate the outcomes of a calculation using simplified methods. For example, you will need to estimate how the final structure is supposed to deflect and the expected trend of internal forces within the model.
Engineers Must Take Into Account the Real Behavior of the Structure
Don't model constraints and joints in a manner that doesn't take into account the real behavior of the structure. This is a common mistake that can make the building unsafe. You may need to give the building a greater range of motion with springs and hinges. Structures often become unstable because the joints and supports are not defined properly.
Not all components on a construction site are installed with precision. A structural engineer needs to factor this in when ensuring that the structure is designed in a safe manner. Fortunately, when working with a structural engineering firm, you can feel confident in the project.