A structural design process involves designing a functional building structure under any worst load it may experience. The role of structural engineer involves analyzing, designing, and detailing a building’s structure for creating structural drawings. In addition to creative and conceptual reasoning, structural planning, and design necessitates an in-depth familiarity with relevant practical details, such as up-to-date design codes and bylaws, and a healthy amount of experience, competence, and strong judgment.
7 Steps of Structural Design of Building
Structural design of a building is a crucial process that ensures the building can withstand all the loads it will be subjected to during its lifetime. It’s a complex process involving several steps, but the general outline remains the same for most buildings. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps.
1. Conceptual Design
A structural design engineer will analyze the drawings created by the architects first to create a structural design of building plan. The engineer will analyze the various spaces in the residential, commercial, or industrial building to create structure engineering design. Conditions at the site are evaluated, including the soil report, the exposure category, the wind load, and the seismic load for the design of steel structures, and design of concrete structures.
Engineers perform preliminary designs of architectural components after environmental factors have been established, including roof, wall, and floor plans according to architectural drawings for structural steel building design. Footings, slabs, load bearing walls, beams, and columns are designed after finding and coordinating mechanical, electrical, and plumbing clashes.
2. Load Analysis
All potential live and dead loads experienced by a building over its lifetime should be analyzed by a structure engineer. Thus, you need to think about the varying loads based on the location of your structure. You can find the values of these loads by consulting the relevant structural design codes and references. There are a variety of loads acting on the building at the same time in the real world.
It is important to assess the whole load for the design and drawing of steel structures. Part of performing a loads analysis is determining which load combinations are the worst for your structure. Autodesk Revit and Tekla, are two examples of BIM structural engineering software that can be set to generate all possible loads automatically.
3. Structural Analysis
Structural engineers are the ones responsible for doing structural analysis on the structural members. Shear, bending moment, normal, and torsion stress diagrams, as well as responses and deformations or deflections caused by the various load combinations, are all included in the structural analysis. Software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) structural analysis, such as Autodesk Revit and Tekla, is used for both basic and advanced structural analysis.
4. System Design
When the preliminary design of the structure has been finished, the structure engineer will shift their focus to the design of the system using a top-down approach. It is absolutely necessary to have a good grasp of the load path of the structure, with particular attention paid to the effects of gravity loads, lateral loads, and uplift on the various parts contained within the structure. When the engineer has a general concept of the load path of the structure, they will start initial designs of the various structural systems.
5. Element Detailing
The specific design of structural elements is detailed with accurate dimensions. The structure engineer will perform detailed member analysis for certain spans, such as estimating the loads that will be placed on the roof. It is possible to significantly cut down on the cost of constructing structures by planning the details of steel connections carefully in advance.
6. Iterative Design and Drafting
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The iterative approach is utilized by structural engineers in order to fine-tune the structural design. Revit helps project teams uncover insights and drive outcomes with data by providing integrated analysis tools and interoperability support for a broad range of CAD and BIM applications. Because of the modification of the structural analysis model, it now incorporates load routes that are more accurate.
7. Construction Administration
Structural contractors should ensure that the building structure design and construction are carried out as per the construction shop drawings. So, proper construction administration is required for a structurally sound building. In the later stages of the building process, the engineer is frequently asked to perform tasks such as review requests for information (RFI) and deferred submittals, acquire code approvals, or develop construction schedules.
In addition to ensuring that the building is built in accordance with the structural design, engineers will also monitor the progress of construction on the client’s behalf. They will also frequently conduct site inspections to ensure that the building process is moving forward and that there are no errors in the installation of products.
What Are The Basic Structural Requirements?
When it comes to the design and construction of a structure as a whole as well as the structural components that make up that building, the fundamental requirement is that the structural design as well as its functionality is perfect. The structure, functionality, and overall appearance of a building should be of high quality if it is to be considered a good building.
The structural designers have an obligation to ensure that the construction engineering designs they produce for the building’s framework will enhance the architects’ work.
They are additionally responsible for ensuring that the design does not cause any clashes with the MEP services. A collaborative effort from structural engineers, architects, and MEP engineers is required to accomplish this goal. The BIM method and the software that support it can be of use here.
The main objective of structural analysis and design is to create a residential, commercial, or industrial structure capable of resisting all applied loads without failure during its lifecycle. Structural engineers use a streamlined step by step process to create a structurally sound building. BIM software like Autodesk Revit and Tekla make the structural analysis and design process easier.
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