A load is a force that can cause stress and leads to deformation and acceleration. When a structure or component of a structure is subject to loads, it may become stressed or displaced. There are several structural load types, each of which requires unique considerations when designing and constructing a building or structure.
What Are Structural Loads Used For?
Structural loads are forces that a structure must resist. Understanding the different types of structural loads is critical to constructing buildings or structures, as the building materials and foundation construction depend on the type of load the structure will encounter.
Structural loads and their effects are an essential factor since they can cause stress, deformation, and structural movement over time. A well-designed structure can effectively endure loads long-term.
Types of Structural Loads
Structural engineers account for several structural load types. Loads can be applied laterally or vertically and may come from environmental factors or materials included in the construction. The different types of structural loads include:
- Dead. Dead loads refer to the weight of the structure, including the beams, floor, walls, insulation, roofing, immovable fixtures, partitions, foundation materials, and more. This type of load is permanent and essentially static. The dead loads due to non-structural elements, such as cladding and finishes, have been referred to as superimposed dead loads, but are still considered dead loads.
- Live. Live loads are forces that people, furniture, and other non-fixed elements apply to the structure. Live loads can include objects and people in motion or with the potential for motion. They can be difficult to predict because they change over time. Live loads also include the surcharge load on the soil or pavement outside the structure against the foundation walls.
- Wind. This type of load is called an environmental load. Wind load depends on geographical location along with the weight and height of the building or structure. Since wind is applied either toward or away from a structure, it can create suction forces that can result in damage over time. Wind loads become an increasing concern as the height of the structure increases.
- Rain. This type of live load is called an environmental load. Rain load depends on the type of roof. Flat roofs use a primary and secondary drainage system (if primary drains are blocked), whereas sloped roofs use free drainage. The use of rain load also depends on if the rainwater can accumulate on any portion of a roof.
- Snow. This type of load is called an environmental load. Snow loads have a notable impact on the structure and materials of the roof and insulation of a building. The load depends on the location and the amount of average snowfall. Snow drifting from adjacent roofs of varying heights can also be a factor. Engineers consider roof shape to mitigate the effects of snow load.
- Seismic. This type of live load is called an environmental load. Seismic loads are lateral loads caused by vibrations of the earth and earthquakes. The frequency of earthquakes in a geographic location is a primary factor when considering seismic loads.
Structural Engineering, Design & Construction Management Services from EDC Management
Understanding structural loads is critical to building sound structures. By considering the different loads a building or structure may be exposed to during the design phase, you can ensure that your project will last for a longer period of time.
EDC Management Corp. offers clients over 30 years of expertise and a small but skilled team to deliver quality construction management services. We assist commercial, industrial, and agricultural clients in methodically planning buildings, considering critical factors like power, infrastructure, and structural elements. Our construction management consultants, engineers, and designers can deliver customizable and scalable solutions for your next project.
Expertly conducted project management is an essential component of every successful construction job. Construction project management involves a team of experts who define a project’s predetermined objectives and proceed to monitor their achievement. Project cost, time, scope, safety, and quality are all critical factors in construction work, and choosing the right project management team facilitates the best outcome in all of these areas.
At EDC Management Corp., we deliver optimal outcomes for our clients no matter the complexity of the project. Our construction project management services are comprehensive, encompassing end-to-end project tasks from bidding to working with architects and engineers. That is the EDC Management difference: full service. An assigned construction manager is available to provide hands-on support for the client and ensure seamless communication amongst contractors, project owners, and subcontractors from start to finish. Our skilled team of designers, consultants, and engineers has management expertise in a diverse range of construction jobs. With more than 130 years of combined experience, we are confident that EDC Management can exceed your expectations for project functionality, safety, scope, budget, and quality.
Construction Project Management
Construction project management is the coordination of a construction job’s material and employee resources from the ideation stage (coming up with innovative solutions by challenging the norm) until completion. This mission-oriented management system takes every facet of a project into account, such as budget supervision, scheduling, project safety, material procurement, and risk assessment, with the ultimate objective of finishing on time and under budget.
It consists of several stages, with each aspect of a project’s development handled by experienced experts.
Stages of Construction Projects
Due to the lengthy and complex nature of construction projects, a significant amount of advanced planning is necessary. The project management team needs to carefully arrange details and contingency plans to mitigate any delays or setbacks that might occur. Construction project management provides support and guidance throughout every stage of the project.
The lifecycle of a construction project can be broken down into five stages:
- Planning and development. This is the initial stage of a construction project when team members share ideas (part of the ideation stage). Managers determine project feasibility and a time frame for each stage of the project. The planning and development phase is also when key performance metrics are determined, as well as how they will be overseen throughout the project’s lifespan. Detailed and careful planning is crucial to the success of any project.
- Design. After the project’s objectives have been set, the next step is drafting designs. This process incorporates everything from first sketches to highly detailed CAD drawings. A project’s design must meet all time frame and cost requirements and then receive final approval before work can proceed.
- Preconstruction. The preconstruction planning phase of a project involves several critical tasks, such as contingency planning, resource allocation, task distribution, and more. During this phase, managers set project timelines and everyone involved in the project receives a specific role and information on how they will perform it and what it should cost.
- Procurement. After the preconstruction phase, material and service sourcing, purchasing, and transportation are the next steps. Procurement involves careful planning in order to source required materials from the best place at the best time. There are positives and negatives to every procurement solution that need to be carefully considered in relation to the project’s budget, timeline, and other goals. For example, sourcing materials locally might be faster but more costly. On the other hand, less expensive materials from a more distant source are at risk of shipping delays. Each project demands a highly individualized procurement solution.
- Construction. After the finalization of procurement plans and resource allocation, the actual construction portion of a project can begin. The ample amount of previous organization and careful contingency planning will have laid the foundation for smooth processes. During the construction job, if any new circumstances arise, project managers will adapt and create effective solutions as needed.
Keys to a Successful Construction Management Project
The most successful construction management plan involves several essential processes:
- Thorough ideation and research. During the planning and development portion of a project, data-driven research and analysis are vital. The best project management teams can deliver feasibility reports, financial breakdowns and budgeting, and more to ensure a proposed project will deliver in ROI.
- Defining and designing the project. After project managers set a job’s parameters, they can then arrange the finer details. This is when management teams update and deliver accurate budgets and realistic timelines, outline needed resources, and develop key performance indicators.
- Deciding on roles. Determining the role everyone involved in the construction project will perform is crucial to preventing redundancies and delays.
- Finalizing and enacting construction plans. Before work on a project begins, good project managers will meet with stakeholders to review the plans together one last time for final questions to avoid any misunderstandings. After this step, project managers will continue to closely monitor the job to ensure efficient completion of all points on the construction plan.
Benefits and Advantages of Construction Project Management Services
There are many advantages to choosing a professional construction project management service. Enlisting a high-quality management team provides you with access to highly skilled processes that facilitate thorough planning as well as coordination and control of a project from its inception to completion.
The earlier in a project that a business hires a professional construction manager, the greater the benefits will be. For example, most of the cost savings opportunities come up during the planning and preconstruction phases of a project’s development. Professional construction managers are able to balance the competing needs of scope, schedule, and cost. Choosing the right construction management services is essential for having as easy and seamless an experience as possible.
When deciding on the right management service for your project:
- Examine what services they offer
- Determine their experience level
- Review their company philosophy
At EDC Management, we oversee all stages of a project’s lifecycle and strive to offer a full array of services at each stage. We are committed to building relationships with our clients by providing knowledgeable, trustworthy consulting assistance to include:
- Scope development. A project’s scope encompasses expenses, timeline, and all work required to complete the job. EDC Management will work with the project owner to design an individualized scope plan to best meet all job milestones within budget and schedule limitations.
- Design applications. EDC Management’s computer-aided design (CAD) software allows us to produce 2D and 3D graphics for structural and mechanical engineering designs, modifications, and more.
- Budget and schedule control. Utilizing detailed schematics, we provide cost estimates based on our experience in procurement, construction, and financials. We also pinpoint possible problem areas in scheduling, planning ahead to circumvent delays.
- Permit and license acquisitions. To closely manage the legal aspects of a project, our consultant team will take care of researching and applying for all permits and licenses throughout a job’s lifecycle.
- Bid development. Our project managers generate a clear request-for-proposal (RFP) package to optimize your ability to receive qualified bids from quality contractors.
- Cost tracking. Once a budget is set, our consultants continue to monitor expenditures and spending transparency to account for a job’s financials from beginning to end.
- Contractor & subcontractor coordination. To give you confidence that any subcontracted work is meeting quality and safety standards, we take it upon ourselves to closely review all materials and machinery a subcontractor uses, any costs incurred, and of course the work itself.
- Site inspections. Part of our job as project managers is to complete routine inspections of job sites. We are your eyes and ears on-site and will report to you with status updates.
- Documentation control. Our project managers can help lead you through all of a job’s documentation and paperwork needs, ensuring that everything is kept up to date and properly filed and recorded.
Construction Project Management Services from EDC Management
EDC Management’s highly experienced team of engineers, designers, and project management consultants deliver comprehensive and personable project management solutions that are customizable to the unique needs of each project. For more information on these capabilities, check out our management service page. If you have questions about how our construction project management team can meet your needs, contact us today. When you are ready to get started on a solution, request a quote.