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Structural design is that part of civil engineering in which the structural designers create the skeleton for man-made structures. The structural designers need to have a deep understanding of the strength and rigidity of the structure. The structural analysis is the determination of the effects of load on the physical structure and their components. This analysis is important to evaluate whether a specific structural design will be able to withstand external and internal forces or not. As a result, we will get a good structural design.
The benefits of a good structural design
The major aim of constructing a structure is to support loads. Structures such as bridges and the various type of buildings are built to satisfy this purpose. Building a structure is not an easy task, it requires thorough research and planning before the construction. Before the planning and the research, an elaborate site analysis should be conducted. The steps to achieve a good structural design are:
- A good structural design requires six phases of planning namely Project requirement, materials required, structural scheme, analysis, design and the testing of soil. Before the execution of the plan, there should be a rough estimation of the design. The load or the force to be resisted must be provided, for a specialized structure like a bridge with different types of loads. The different types of loads are gravity load, wind loads, occupancy load and dead load. The gravity load asserts pressure vertically downwards. The wind load acts and earthquake loads act horizontally to the structure which may cause disturbances to the foundation. After a careful analysis, the structural designers decide upon appropriate methods to resist these loads.
- Proper planning: Planning requires suggestions of the various alternative designs before deciding on the apt design for the construction. Along with planning one should consider aesthetics, economics, environment, and constructability before the selection of a good structural design.
A good structural design will increase the strength and rigidity of a structure. It can reduce the building cost of the structure. The main purpose of a good design is to withstand various loads for the period of time it is intended to serve its purpose and lifespan. A structure that lacks a good design may fail in its purpose and may lead to dangerous consequences, even death.
A good structural design requires an efficient structural designer, who can reduce the expenses of the construction. He knows the cost and composition of materials required to provide a strong and aesthetic structure. He should be able to make a structural calculation for approval by the building regulation and complete the work in time. A good structural design and an efficient structural designer can create structures that can last forever.