An Insight into Ownership of Structures
In Part 1 of this Blog, we discussed some of the reasons why a ‘change of use’ and in particular, the role that understanding and documenting modifications and maintenance issues plays in protecting your structures.
Condition of Existing Assets
A change of use can only be feasible with a solid understanding of the current physical condition. Whilst many Owner / Operators have a regular inspection programme, it is worth pointing out that the results are only as good as the information on which it is based. For example, recording the level of corrosion of a structural brace is important, but if the brace in question was part of a modification, how do we know the results of the survey are acceptable? Well we don’t, is the simple answer - not without an engineering review.
Take a Proactive Approach!
As can be seen, there are a lot of unknowns lurking below the surface but engaging a structural engineering consultant can pay dividends to the success of your project. Whether you are an asset owner or manage assets on behalf of the owner as a matter of course, we recommend that you:
· Assess the adequacy and suitability of existing designs and modifications to all existing structures.
· Structures that are unchanged need to only comply with the original design specifications, codes and standards.
· Structures that have been modified need to comply with codes and standards applicable at the time of the modification. It is worth highlighting, that generally the whole structure will also be checked in accordance with these standards.
· Collate and file all drawings, calculations and supporting documentation for the asset.
· Establish a proactive monitoring and maintenance program.
· Include structural elements in the asset register database (alongside the equipment that is regularly inspected and maintained).
How We Can Help!
Depending on the structural asset or proposed modification in question, we can arrange for structural inspections, assessments and drawing updates to be carried out. The benefit to having this information reviewed by Structural Engineers is that we can undertake a review with knowledge of the original structure, its current condition, and the future intended use, then identify any critical elements or areas of concern and suggest ‘appropriate’ repairs or remedial actions.
‘Appropriate’ in this sense means that we strongly believe in applying the correct solution for the project. We take our obligation as Engineers seriously and aim to leave the Client with a clear and concise recommendation on any remedial work (if it is required).
Dependant on the project, we can provide:
· An independent review of your structural assets, including site visits, review of drawings, specifications, modification logs, maintenance logs etc.
· Design verification of proposed structural modifications using up to date analysis techniques to appropriate codes and standards.
· Design documentation (reports, drawings etc) to provide updated information for the asset database, ensuring accurate records are maintained.
· Recommendations for preventative maintenance and highlight areas of concern.
Get in Touch!
Do you have a project that you want to discuss? Please get in touch for a no obligation discussion.