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Finding the Right Structural Engineer

Finding the Right Structural Engineer

Structural Engineering is not a very precise science, especially when it comes to retrofitting existing buildings.  Depending on the engineer chosen, enhancements can be added that may increase the construction expense close to sixty percent.  When considering a commercial earthquake retrofit, it is important to understand that spending more on construction costs does not necessarily translate into building a stronger structure.

There are a number of different strategies that can be used when designing an earthquake retrofit.  An experienced and knowledgeable engineer will create a earthquake retrofit plan according to the most economic means possible, while staying within the objectives of a lowered PML or SUL.  Commercial property owners will want to ensure that construction costs are kept to a minimal expense without short-cutting the integrity of the entire structural design.  Therefore, it is imperative to consider the following points when choosing a structural engineer:

  • Does the engineer have experience with earthquake retrofit design for existing building structures?
  • Within about the last two years, how many earthquake retrofit plans has the engineer created?
  • Does the structural engineer have several referrals from previous retrofit customers?  Is the engineer willing to give you contact information so you can personally speak with past clients?
  • Does the engineer do a walk-through with a specialized, experienced contractor to discuss design construction during the initial concept phase of the project?
  • Can the engineer produce an effective and economic set of earthquake retrofit plans?

Taking the time to research an engineer’s earthquake retrofit expertise is critical if you plan to employ an contractor for an earthquake retrofit project.  With engineers and with contractors, as well as other professionals such as physicians, lawyers, and mechanics, you will find they have varying skill levels and experience.  It truly is vital to the success and construction expense of a retrofit to find a qualified engineer who has designed earthquake retrofits previously and is familiar with existing building structures and current building codes.

In summary, employ an engineer with earthquake retrofit expertise and, to cut down construction expense and raise the efficiency with the project, an engineer who is willing to discuss modifications and project scope with a qualified, experienced contractor.  Be sure to hire a specialty contractor to complete the actual retrofitting work in order to ensure the job is done efficiently and effectively.  If you have questions about commercial earthquake retrofitting in the California Bay Area or would like to learn more about how to protect your California real estate property from an earthquake, call Saunders Commercial Earthquake Retrofit Bay Area today.  Our professional team has the expertise to work alongside your engineer to get the best value for your earthquake retrofit.


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(408) 267-3876


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