FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Structural Engineer?
If we were to use the analogy of a human body as a building, Structural Engineers would be involved with the Skeleton. They ensure that buildings are strong enough to maintain the forces applied to them.
When would I need a Structural Engineer?
A Structural Engineer would be required to design any structural members to a new building or when an existing building is modified. A Structural Engineer would be required when a survey of the structural aspects of a building are required and recommendations are needed.
What is a Structural Report?
A Structural Report is summary of a building structural form. Depending on the needs of the client, the report may focus on a specific part of the building, or provide a list of defects and recommendations. A report may also include a feasibility study on the suitability of a property for conversion / extension / change of use etc. The weight of Structural Reports will depend on the author. Typically, for a report to have a tangible value, it would need to be authored by a Chartered Engineer with a suitable amount of experience.
Why do I need Calculations?
It is typically a requirement for Building Control approval to have Structural Calculations done to prove the adequacy of any structural members / features installed. Calculations enable a Structural Engineer to specify an adequate structural solution backed up by established Codes of Practice (British Standards / Eurocodes) and/or Computer software programs.
What is a ‘windpost’ and why do I need one?
By far the most common problem we have encountered in Domestic conversions is maintaining stability of external walls when removing internal walls. The current fashion for ‘open plan’ living has created a need for large open internal spaces with limited dividing walls. Internal walls provide butressing to external walls, and by excluding / removing them, a weakness is created in the wall, especially if the masonry panel has a ‘free edge’ such as a window or door on one or both sides. This changes the way the wall resists wind loading, and if left un-reinforced, could result in cracking to the masonry / finishes, or in an extreme example, structural failure. A common solution is to provide a member spanning top to bottom to resist this windload, this is known as a windpost.
Do I need to complete a Full Plans submission to Building Control to demolish an internal wall?
It is likely this could be done under a Building Notice instead. Most competent contractors are aware of this procedure and it can be done very close to starting the works. It is unlikely you would need an architect as very little is changing. In this scenario, the service we would provide would be to call out to the property, undertake a dimensional survey of the rooms where the wall is to be demolished, then do a visual survey of the areas above to determine loadings. From this information we would then create a plan and necessary details for the contractor to install a steel beam. These calculations would also be submitted to Building Control at the same time as the Building Notice.
What are your payment terms?
We accept Cash, Cheque or BACS transfers. Details for these options would be provided on an invoice. We are VAT registered. Unfortunately we cannot accept card payments either over the phone or in person. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.