Structural engineering and why it’s important

Terren, has been created to offer a package of ready-to-build architectural plans, fully specified, and quoted with the flexibility to be built on your land by any builder. In working on it, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of structural engineering. I thought it might be useful to others if I share those thoughts here.

As you might know, Architecture and engineering are two related but essentially very different professions. Normally when you engage an Architect to design your home, the drawings that we create will not include structural engineering. The architectural plans would then be sent to a structural engineer who would complete their drawings for a separate fee. However, when Terren clients receive their package of plans we want it to include everything that they need in order to proceed straight to building or tendering – this will include an efficient and fully considered structural design by a highly regarded engineering firm.

As we will explain below, your structural engineering is also an integral component of the overall cost of your build, so for Terren to provide a verified build price – the engineering was an important consideration.

But first, what is structural engineering exactly?

Structural engineers are Registered Building Practitioners that have undergone significant education and training. They provide the design of the building’s foundations and support. Like a skeleton, this support is what holds your house upright.

Engineering starts from the foundations. After the soil conditions of a site have undergone Geotechnical assessment (AKA a soil report) the structural engineer will design the foundations of the building to work, without fail, on that site.

They then move to the structure within the building. They may use a variety of methods and materials, such as masonry, steel, or concrete, to design a system which supports the architectural intent. Finally, they ensure that the building is braced to meet Australian Standards. Calculations are done alongside all of these designs and certified as required so that the home can be constructed by a builder.

How do you choose a structural engineer to work on your project?

Terren clients won’t need to choose as the hard work and tough decisions have been taken care of for them. Our key consideration was to find a firm with a strong technical building knowledge. Since there is often more than one way to approach any given design, having a sensible and flexible approach gives our clients the best outcome. Like any professional service, communication is also key to any project’s success and an engineer who can communicate both effectively and timely was critical for Terren as we aim to provide our plans to clients within weeks of purchase.

Trust is important. Who will design the structural engineering of a Terren home?

We have chosen to partner with Astleigh Consulting Engineers on this year’s Terren collection. They are a forward thinking and experienced partner that we trust to provide sound designs which ensure buildability and cost efficiency across every Terren home.

Here’s what you can do now to get your site ready for a Terren design:

As I mentioned – for any home to be designed and engineered you will need to undertake a Geotechnical Soil report. It will provide the key information necessary to determine the design of the footing and ground floor structural system.

You will also need a land survey which identifies and maps out the boundaries and features of your land to determine ownership and specific measurements.

I’m more than happy to help you find trusted professionals in your area who can complete soil reports and land surveys for you. Getting those completed now will put you one step ahead for a Terren design or any method of home design you chose to undertake.

As always, let me know if you have any more questions about structural engineering or Terren in general.

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Want to learn more about Terren, or the Architectural design and build process?

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