It’s a challenge that every architect faces, trying to manage building design and construction coordination while struggling with competing structural and mechanical engineering requirements.
How often have you encountered situations where the mechanical contractor shows up to run ductwork and there is structure in the way, or you have a 24-inch duct trying to go through an 18-inch space in a load bearing wall? These are common problems on job sites and one of an architect’s biggest headaches.
Headaches such as these can be reduced or eliminated when the structural engineering firm makes an effort to work directly with the mechanical engineering contractor. By meeting in advance of construction to coordinate respective structural and mechanical requirements, the structural engineer will know the location and dimensions of key mechanical fixtures such as ductwork, plumbing and electrical and can allocate space appropriately. By working closely with the mechanical engineering contractor, the structural engineer can create schematics that allow for these installations without negatively impacting building design or construction.
This is just one example of how an effective structural engineering firm will see problems and solve them before they happen. Another example of forward thinking is to ensure that plumbing walls in bathrooms or kitchens are not structural–such as shear walls or loadbearing walls. This maintains the integrity of the structure and enables faster, easier installation. Consider using a structural engineering firm that will make every effort to separate the structural components from the mechanical components. When you work with structural engineers who are creative problem solvers, you dramatically reduce your risk of an onsite situation where a structural wall needs to be breached to allow access for electrical conduits or drain lines.
K2N Crest specializes in creative problem solving in the practices of architectural design, structural engineering, architectural engineering, interior renovation, forensic engineering and roof consulting. Building owners and managers throughout Illinois and contiguous states and Hawaii look to K2N for their architectural, structural and roof evaluation needs. For more information visit www.k2n.com or call us at 630-990-9595.