Structural Engineering Defined

Posted by Roberta Bartel on April 24, 2019

What Is Structural Engineering? What Does a Structural Engineer Do? Why Do We Need Them?

While we will never know who designed the Parthenon or the aqueducts of the Roman Empire, we do know that the Romans were among the earliest practitioners of structural engineering.


All buildings are subject to and need to be built to withstand the stresses and pressures of their environment:

Science station construction

  • Gravity
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Terrain
  • Collisions


Structural Engineering is the science and art that focuses on all these factors; then works to design structures that will withstand these stresses and pressures to keep the building safe, stable and secure for the occupants.

What is a Structural Engineer?  The Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE) defines a structural engineer as: "An engineer with specialized knowledge, training, and experience in the sciences and mathematics relating to analyzing and designing force-resisting systems for buildings and other structures."

In other words, Structural Engineers make sure your building doesn't fall down or collapse. henleyback

Why Do We Need Them? 

While there are many instances when you may not think you need to hire a structural engineer; one has probably already been involved.  In the instance of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), the panels have been tested and are built to meet various structural requirements.  

However, if your needs require unusual wall heights, your building on the side of a cliff, you need to have a rock-climbing wall, you're building a science station at the South Pole on hydraulic jacks, or any number of other needs or conditions, you may need a Structural Engineer. 

Your Structural Engineer knows the requirements for the load carrying structural system you are building.  They will be able to calculate how different materials will perform under pressure and will be able to estimate how these materials will perform over an extended period.

Difference between Architects and Structural Engineers: "In a nutshell," according to the Institution of Structural Engineers, "if a structure was a human body, the architect would be concerned with the body shape and appearance, and the structural engineer would be concerned with the skeleton and sinews."


SIPS 101

 Our Mission: Our Commitment
When you build with Enercept SIPs we provide a building that will go up faster and will be warmer, tighter, stronger, quieter and more cost-effective than conventional construction. It is a commitment that others simply can’t beat!


Topics: building systems, Structural Insulated Panels