I think I'm ready to start working with a structural engineer for my STX house design. I'm thinking it would be best to use an engineer in VI since they'll have experience with hurricanes (and other weather conditions), earthquakes, local geology, building practices (maybe), etc. Can anyone recommend a structural engineer?
when building a house most people dont use a structural engineer that i know of.. they usually get a design for the house take it to the architect and then find a builder. most licensed builders on the island know what the codes are.( they better anyhow ) i believe houses here have to meet the miami dade codes when building houses. if you need a recommendation for a builder let me know.
Thanks Speedy, I'm still in the design phase, and my design is slightly "extreme" (the entire house is on posts, and some posts might be 25 ft long). So, I need to understand if this house is feasible given all of the dangers vs the geology. Instead of going to an architect, and then a builder (who hopefully would go to a structural engineer) to hear that the design is not practical, I'd like some input from the structural engineer now. Also, I'm not building for a few years, so I'm hoping that my design work now will let me investigate and prepare things for the build.
I have a 3D model of the house and a 3D model of the land (from a topographic survey).
So I need a general opinion of my design; and then if the design looks worth pursuing, I need to know how to work with the engineer to analyze the structural integrity (do I need to specify steel type and size for posts or can I give him dimensions and thickness of concrete slab; what soil samples do we need; how should we work with a builder to make sure we get what we need; etc).
I've been working with a builder on STX to get opinions of the design (zoning laws, general STX building practices, etc) and we both agree that it's time to bring the engineer in to look at this.
I've been trying to learn about the structural engineering concepts (I'm an electrical engineer and vaguely remember my basic physics, statics and dynamics, etc) by searching on the web. I can find span tables for steel and I can calculate weight of concrete and wind loads. But, when you add soil conditions and earth quakes I see that this gets much more complicated very quickly. So, I'm also hoping that the engineer is going to educate me a bit so that I'll have a better feel for a proper (structural) design.
You might get further ahead on your plans if you brainstorm with a structural engineer in your local area - that way you would have some very solid thought out and written numbers to discuss with an engineer here that might be more attuned to the local conditions. I remember some of your previous posts that dealt with elevations,landscaping,cistern etc. so I imagine you are basically in need of dimensions and load limits to complete your drawings which likely will not vary too much in adapting a design to STX - just steer clear of exotic materials that may be too expensive or not even obtainable here.