Whenever you're faced with a significant construction project, you will need to carefully determine whether the job can be completed within a set budget. You need to know if it can be cost efficient and, in essence, if it's worth doing. To help you determine this, you will need the support of a significant number of organisations and individuals, which you will bring in at various stages of its development. Key to this process will be the input of a structural engineering company, so you need to choose your partner carefully.
What criteria do you need to consider as you select this organisation?
Laying out the Scope
Have you set out the scope of work, from start to finish? This is a written analysis of the project, going into finite detail and setting up your expectations as the client. The structural engineer will provide their own analysis at various stages, together with the costs to complete each section. Care will be needed here so that the budget is maintained, as otherwise it will be easy to creep over the line. Furthermore, if you don't adhere to the budget, it's likely that the schedule will meet a similar fate, or you could end up with substandard results.
How to Choose Your Partner
Have a look at the qualifications and experience of the structural engineer to see if they are a natural fit for the type of project. If you're unsure of the way forward, you should focus on the amount of time that they have spent on jobs that are very similar to this, rather than specific qualifications on paper.
Some engineers tend to focus on certain structure types, while others will be more adept at working with a range of different materials. These factors may influence whether the building project is sustainable, or whether it will stand up well to climatic events. For example, you may need to choose materials that are resistant to brush fires or can deal with tropical windstorms, depending on your location.
Providing Expert Input
Never choose a partner who will simply agree to all your requests without question. Some people like to please the client come what may, but you need to be assured that the project is viable at each step along the line.
Having said that, you are not the expert and are relying on their direction. They may be aware of a breakthrough in a certain area or a latest innovation that could significantly benefit the project and if so, you will want them to be proactive.
Take your time to choose your partner here, as there is a lot at stake. Due diligence now will pay dividends in the long run.