Construction Engineering – The Basics
Construction engineers are key players in promoting the successful implementation of any project worth its time and expense. They work with contractors to identify project challenges, provide value engineering, and ensure safety. Their primary focus is to provide effective solutions without sacrificing the functionality of the final product. Essentially, construction engineers deliver labor, equipment, and materials savings to contractors by employing efficient construction methods to optimize constructability without sacrificing safety.
Construction engineers are also the backbone of the planning and execution phases of projects. They provide constructive technical input to the design team as needed. They bridge the gap between the contractor and engineer-of-record (EOR) to reduce project delays, and eliminate costly rework expenses.
Construction engineers help contractors to determine a construction sequencing schedule that optimizes productivity. They provide supplemental structural engineering to accommodate any sequencing that may affect the final structure. This flexibility is instrumental in increasing contractor profit margins as it allows for creative optimized construction methods while not sacrificing the quality of the end-product.
Temporary Structures Engineering
Temporary structures are a critical element of any large scale construction project. Construction engineers assist contractors in determining the best products for the project (i.e. scaffolding, shoring, formwork, etc.). They also provide the critical function of ensuring that any temporary structure is engineered correctly, and that it won’t adversely affect the structure(s) it may be bearing on or attached to.
For instance, reshoring plans that are not designed correctly can overload supporting slabs and lead to catastrophic failure. Roof collapse on new and existing construction is also prevalent as subcontractors fail to take into account the load carrying capabilities of the structure. Construction engineers provide appropriate third-party review, and ensure that the temporary and permanent structures are sufficient to handle the loads that will be imposed upon them.
Safety on a job-site is no accident (pun intended). Construction engineers ensure that strict compliance to OSHA environmental and work safety regulations are maintained in support of a zero-incident culture. They do this by providing the supporting engineering data that validates the construction means & methods on the project. They work closely with safety officers to identify potential hazards (safety critical lifts for example) and develop adequate mitigation plans. They ensure that all local, state, and federal requirements are followed.
Construction engineers working in close collaboration with safety officers can reduce a contractor’s worker’s compensation EMR (Experience Modification Rate). An EMR quantifies a contractor’s safety record and future claims risk. A lower EMR leads to lower insurance premiums.
While recognizing the need for a construction engineer is important, choosing the right one is equally as critical. Since 1985, DH Glabe & Associates has been providing construction engineering for some of the largest and most complex projects in the country. Working for the who’s who of the ENR Top 400, DHG is trusted by largest contractors in the world. Contact one of DHG’s construction engineers today for a project consultation.