We provide services to evaluate the structural condition and/or the load capacity of a structure. Evaluations may be necessary if you are considering a change of use of the structure, notice a particular problem but don’t understand its cause and the appropriate solutions to correct the problem, wish to eliminate portions of the structure but don’t know if those portions are carrying load or not, have had a problem flagged during an inspection by someone that is not a structural engineer, are considering changing the thermal performance of a roof structure, or any number of other reasons.
A visual condition evaluation uses non-invasive and non-destructive methods to assess the condition of the structure using visual clues from the structure. This type of evaluation can answer the question of whether there are any apparent problems with the structure, based on signs obvious to a structural engineer.
A load capacity evaluation is a more thorough and analytical evaluation of the structure, that provides you with a safe uniform live load or snow load capacity for the structure, based on the materials of construction, their framing arrangement and connections. A capacity evaluation may utilize existing structural drawings of the structure, if available. If no drawings of the structure are available, then comprehensive field measurements of the entire structure must be obtained in order to perform the numerical analysis of the framing. The weakest component of the structure determines it’s safe capacity.
We can help you identify which type of evaluation is appropriate for your needs. A visual condition evaluation is usually incorporated into a load capacity evaluation, as observed structural deficiencies can effect the overall load capacity of the structure.