What Are the Different Types of Structural Engineering Services?

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer
A structural engineer consultant might provide advice on the design process for skyscrapers and other structurally intensive projects.
A structural engineer consultant might provide advice on the design process for skyscrapers and other structurally intensive projects.

Structural engineering services can help manage the many aspects of designing, constructing, and inspecting any type of building or bridge. They can benefit architects, contractors, as well as property managers. There are services for industrial facilities and structures such as those used for concerts and trade shows, while some structural engineering services deal with renewable energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines. A few also provide assistance using sophisticated Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to draft blueprints and create three-dimensional (3D) models of structures before they are built.

Wind power and other renewable energy systems might use structural engineering services.
Wind power and other renewable energy systems might use structural engineering services.

Inspections of buildings can be performed through services that provide structural analysis. These are often suited for structural engineering firms as well as contractors and architects. The stability of a design can be analyzed using CAD software and engineering expertise for low-rise or high-rise buildings as well as bridges, theaters, and universities. Entire power plant structures can be worked on too, while industrial systems such as piping and conveyors often undergo detailed analysis by service providers.

Structural engineer services often design, build, and maintain bridges.
Structural engineer services often design, build, and maintain bridges.

In addition to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, structural engineering services can be provided for designing and inspecting bridges. Bridges typically require rehabilitation at some point and structural systems for roads, rails, pedestrian paths, and utilities sometimes need to be looked at by engineers to ensure their stability. Similarly, it is typically necessary for engineers to be involved in the design of structures for concerts and festivals, whether these are permanent or temporary. Stages and rigging for sound and other equipment generally must meet design requirements and safety standards.

Structural engineers sometime specialize in aspects of civil engineering, including tunnel building.
Structural engineers sometime specialize in aspects of civil engineering, including tunnel building.

Structural engineers are often tasked with restoring older buildings. These structural engineering services often include expert analysis of the condition of buildings and how to best approach repairs of concrete, steel, wood, or masonry structural elements. Consulting services are also available to help clients such as property owners or managers, as well as architects, though specific stages of or complete projects. These often consist of expert advice or assistance with design concepts for retrofits, documentation, and project management.

Individual systems are sometimes the focus of structural engineering services, such as camera zip lines for sporting events, or the booths, decks, and other structures that are installed during trade shows at convention centers. Structural components such as foundations can be stabilized or strengthened if necessary. There are even services that provide the manpower and equipment, such as anchors, platforms, and trolleys, for roof construction as well as window cleaning systems on tall buildings.

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    • A structural engineer consultant might provide advice on the design process for skyscrapers and other structurally intensive projects.
      By: The Photos
      A structural engineer consultant might provide advice on the design process for skyscrapers and other structurally intensive projects.
    • Wind power and other renewable energy systems might use structural engineering services.
      By: Gianluca Rasile
      Wind power and other renewable energy systems might use structural engineering services.
    • Structural engineer services often design, build, and maintain bridges.
      By: Aania
      Structural engineer services often design, build, and maintain bridges.
    • Structural engineers sometime specialize in aspects of civil engineering, including tunnel building.
      By: bibi
      Structural engineers sometime specialize in aspects of civil engineering, including tunnel building.