• Moloney & Sons

The Critical Issues


One of the most critical aspects of consulting engineering is identifying and addressing the problem. Our Principal Structural Engineer discusses some of these issues and how to effectively address them.

One particular aspect of consulting engineering that is critical, but not always implemented effectively, is in actually addressing the engineering problem & actual site conditions at hand.

We must first determine the issue(s) causing a particular concern & assess the site parameters/limitations to accommodate within the design, in order to adequately consider & address ALL the issues effectively & provide appropriate, practical engineering design solutions. This requires both experience AND an open, investigative approach in order to identify unique & challenging conditions/problems, to then provide suitable, enduring solutions to those problems

The following items (definitely not limited to), are critical to producing adequate, appropriate, durable, thereby also relatively efficient & economical structures/projects from cradle-to-grave. Hence, reducing the associated, typically significant, costly & often ongoing problems created from neglect of any of these issues:

1. Designers, builders & all sub-contractors alike, relevant to their field, need to ensure & diligently consider ALL appropriate site conditions/design/construction criteria requirements adequately & completely.

  • Instead of just “going through the motions”, just to tick that box, in documentation & construction; ensure each stage activities are actually being effectively & productively implemented to completion, by addressing each relevant issue & the underlying reason WHY that particular issue is relevant (this used to be simply called “having pride in workmanship”).

  • Ensure the design and construction actually correlate with each other, followed through to completion; AND appropriate to site conditions (surprising how much this is not done).

2. Acquire a full(er) understanding of the relevant design/construction principles & the intention/interpretation of applying appropriate standards & accepted practices.

  • Adequate training, both theoretical & practical (guidance/mentoring in the field), within the relevant fields/contractors, for ALL relevant parties, united & training from each field’s perspective.

  • Reducing division between all parties to increase understanding the bigger picture, as to not only how each field contributes to the overall project, but how each field affects/interacts with each other & the overall project – LONG TERM!

  • Greater understanding, from adequate training, induces better communication, less errors & consequential re-work, increases efficiency, productivity & improves attitude.

  • Introducing mandatory, but relevant, “Back-to-Basics” training seminars; even interactive to provide & take advantage of the diverse pertinent perspectives present.

4. Not engage in unapproved works, due to the likely associated future consequential issues.

  • Ensure ALL works are appropriately designed & approved for construction to avoid the inevitable & many pitfalls of future problems occurring from unforeseen events or unaccounted design parameters.

5. Ensure adequate inspections are conducted by suitably qualified personnel during each relevant stage of construction.

  • A critical but underrated stage of construction, requiring appropriately experienced, qualified, reputable personnel conducting diligent inspections first & then approval.Designer inspections &/or at least final designer approval may be a way to ensure design intent is actually achieved on site (significant & common issue from my experience).This is a text block. You can use it to add text to your template.

These obviously apply to green-field sites during the original design stages, by simply considering the design parameters of the new structure & suitability to the site conditions. However, this is just as critical for the design of extensions & renovations of existing structures, AND forensic investigations for adequate rectifications & modifications, to actually resolve ongoing structural issues (from previous poor design or construction.

To Be Continued...

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