"As Safe As a House" has a special meaning for structural engineers in New York City

June 10, 2013 - Design / Build

Oscar Walters, Jr., Demerara Engineering

The age old adage, "As Safe as House" can be considered as having special meaning today by the structural engineering community here in The city of New York. This is particularly the case with those members of the profession that practice in the specialized area of building design. This criteria is particularly pertinent here in our city, probably because there are so many different kinds of buildings and structures. Thus we have a varied building stock serving as home for millions of us New Yorkers.
We not only have homes of the form and size that can be found in the quasi-suburban locations of eastern Queens, where many gorgeous single family abodes exist, but also on the other end of the spectrum, where we have those huge multi-story residential hi-rise apartment buildings located in the heart of our teeming metropolis.
Irrespective of the scope and extent of our abodes, they must all be built and maintained in a safe manner, whether we are dealing with the ravaging torrents of a storm the likes of Superstorm Sandy, or those load generating roof deposits of a heavy winter snowstorm, not to mention the challenges that seismic events and their aftermaths can yield. Suffice it to say that the new weather norms we are experiencing here in New York require more care and attention to be placed on the safety of our buildings. Thus, the job of today's structural engineers have become even more demanding.
The new building code that has been introduced to the city since 2008, must now be considered to have finally become entrenched into its rightful place. This is particularly true, since the final component of that code to be enacted, and which covers special and progress inspections, has now after five long years of massaging, shaping and refining, finally entrenched itself into a premier standing.
Registered professional engineers serving as the engineer of record for your next building project, whether it is big or small are tasked with the effort of structural engineering design which is essentially the skillful application of the academic concepts of science and math for the solution of practical problems. Whether its roofs with long spans or apartments with low floor to ceiling heights, or the underpinning of that old existing rubble foundation wall next to your new deep underground car park. They all need engineered construction documents to be prepared. They all require communication of the intent of design, for the use of the developer and the builder. These are mammoth tasks, and without the right engineering design skills and services being in place, will not achieve the excellence of the constructed project that we all hope to attain.
My firm Demerara Engineering, PLLC has been offering a wide range of structural and foundation engineering services here in New York City for over the past 20 years. We are a MBE certified firm with skilled technical staff that can lead you through the design process and guarantee much success in the constructed process.
Your inquiry with regards to the relevance of our services for the satisfaction of your specific needs, is welcome.
Oscar Walters, Jr., P.E., M. SEAoNY, is a principal at Demerara Engineering, PLLC, New York, N.Y.

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