Structural engineering is predominantly about providing strength and stability, something to support occupants and make people feel safe and protected.
It is much appreciated that elegant building structures and details can generate awe and a feeling of wonder but building structures can also enhance the performance of spaces in many other less tangible ways.
By considering a building structures materiality, thermal mass, shape and form the internal environment can be enhanced whether that be through increased levels of daylight, improved air quality, greater acoustic control or enhanced thermal comfort.
Structural design also has a duty to protect our planet, many traditional construction materials, whilst perfect at providing strength and stiffness, require a vast amount of energy to produce and cause pollution. It is our responsibility to consider this in all our designs, making sure we only use what is required without wastage, to optimise what each component achieves and to consider the building throughout its lifespan.
This holistic approach to building structures ensures that the final design is always greater than the sum of its parts, providing not only support and stiffness but also warmth, enjoyment and longevity.