Structural engineering for commercial buildings
“…imagine your construction project on time, on budget and working well…”
Structural feasibility studies
- Feasibility studies for commercial properties are frequently undertaken for extensions, alterations and change of use.
- Our structural engineers are experienced at assessing existing buildings and critically evaluating the structural impact of changes.
- By doing this, we help clients avoid delays and unexpected costs by identifying issues and finding solutions before works are underway.
- Our work considers all aspects of a project, to give our clients a thorough understanding of the risks and challenges involved.
- Our assessment covers environmental, legal, planning and budget considerations, timescales, required expertise and operational issues. Essentially, we cover everything that is needed to confirm the viability of a project.
- Our chartered surveyors work closely with our structural engineers to provide a complete appraisal of the project, from planning and drainage to reviewing the feasibility of the design from a building regulation perspective.
Technical due diligence
- Technical due diligence is a key part of a pre-acquisition survey.
- We review existing structures for structural defects and compliance with building standards.
- Previous repairs are comprehensively examined to ensure that they were done to the appropriate specification.
- Structural integrity, standard of workmanship, opportunities for development, limitations of the existing structure or structures, feasibility of planned works and impact of service installations (e.g. air conditioning) are all considered.
- The strong partnership between our structural engineers and our chartered surveyors means that all aspects of a commercial property are investigated. We offer a complete, bespoke pre-acquisition service tailored to each individual client.
Roof structure calculations
- Our roof structure calculations assess load capacity and structural integrity ahead of alteration works.
- Structural roof calculations are typically used to determine suitability for retro-installations of photovoltaic (PV) panels, green roofs and plant machinery.
- Our structural engineers do more than simply calculating the increase in load and stress on the roof. They consider not only the roof but the whole building as a supporting structure.
- Factors such as the height of roof system, the load and pressure it exerts are all considered, as is the need for maintenance or access.
- Height, exposure and local climate are all taken into account.
- We work closely with suppliers and, in partnership with our chartered surveyors, our engineers are happy to provide advice on planning and listed building consent.
Structural design review
- We carry out independent technical design reviews of planned alterations against industry standards.
- Structural performance and safety are equally considered.
- We objectively verify structural calculations by carrying them out from scratch to ensure the method is sound; they are not simply re-calculated.
- Our structural engineers are experienced in considering the relationship between the design and the structure of the main building.
- We also offer support with design production when required.
- We are experienced in a variety of alterations, from large-scale changes such as adding in mezzanine floors, to smaller projects such as installing glass screens and changing balustrades, disability works such as widening openings, lift installations and similar alterations.
- We also frequently support landlords by reviewing tenant/shop fitter design specifications.
Construction quality assurance
- Independent quality assurance/quality control in construction is vital for ensuring that projects are delivered to the correct specifications.
- Our structural engineers ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the original specifications and the client’s vision for the project.
- They conduct regular site visits to make sure that any deviations from specification are identified and reviewed early.
- Their expertise, which is drawn from reviewing multiple construction projects of a wide range of type and scale, means they are ideally placed to monitor build quality. For example, the engineer will check the quality of concrete slab finishes and review concrete strength tests and piling records.
- As the project draws to a close, the engineer will review the final designs and all the structural elements to check that they are in accordance with the specified requirements.
- We understand the importance of being available at short notice to review proposed changes for suitability and help to ensure that projects are kept on time and to budget whenever possible.
- Our load calculations for beam design are thorough assessments of beam requirements.
- Our structural engineers conduct site visits to check loadings and always consider the removal of supporting structures and the installation of the beam in context of the entire building.
- We then put together all the documentation required for submission to building control, including both sketches and calculations.
Specific Structural Inspections
- We assign a structural engineer to Specific Structural Inspection (also known as Specific Defect Surveys or Specific Structural Surveys) that require detailed structural investigations, such as bowing walls, structural movement, cracking/subsidence investigations, calculations for load capacity and beams, flood damage investigations, assessing structural alterations and roof or chimney assessments.
- Our structural engineers provide a detailed report on their findings, including designs and calculations where applicable.
- Our engineers and surveyors work closely together and can also support you with required remedial works and contract administration.