Have you ever heard of Gustave Eiffel? No? If so, have you ever heard of Eiffel tower? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes. The French civil engineer and the architect, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was the person responsible for this iconic tower situated in Paris. If the world didn’t have people like Eiffel, we wouldn’t be marveling at such exquisite structures. Civil engineers are one of a kind.
What does a civil engineer do exactly?
Although we mention civil engineering with world-famous structures, most of us don’t know what civil engineers go through to help create such jaw-dropping masterpieces. On the other hand, Civil engineers don’t only build fascinating structures.
Civil engineering has many sub-disciplines such as Coastal engineering, Construction engineering, Earthquake engineering, Environmental engineering, Forensic engineering, Geotechnical engineering, Materials science, and engineering, Structural engineering, Surveying, Transportation engineering, Municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, etc.
Civil engineers are responsible for maintaining and making necessary changes to our infrastructure as well. For instance, from the roads, railways, and bridges we use, waste networks and flood defenses, energy, and water supply, etc. everything lies in the hands of these geniuses.
On top of that, they have a genuine challenge on their hands to keep up with the growth of the population, natural disasters, and climate changes, etc. Civil engineers also have to be excellent at solving complex problems. Simply put, without civil engineers, our world would be out of order and incomplete.
Civil engineers spend their time both at the office and the site, supervising the construction. Although the job is tough, it requires coming together as a team for creating, designing, and building something while facing challenges. Engineers remain eager to implement new solutions for the betterment of the society should opt for civil engineering.
What is the importance of a Civil Engineer to a construction project?
- Planning site features
A site plan is crucial to visualize what is going to be changed in a specific lot. In other words, site plans include proposed and existing structures, terrain elevations, landscaping elements, utility connections, sanitary drainage, parking, roadways, easements, etc.
On the other hand, a grading design is also a key part of most site plans. A grading design typically shows areas of excavation and filling, terrain elevation changes, storm-water management, etc. Not to mention, a site plan is a mandatory feature that is required for submitting a permit application in California. California’s jurisdictions demand a grading plan that is created separately.
For all these important tasks, a civil engineer can give their output from planning site features and drafting them when a permit application is submitted.
- Decreasing cutting and filling costs
As mentioned before, a grading design caters to stabilizing the soil around the chosen structure. Primarily, Grading involves excavating (cutting) and depositing (filling) soil in order to create the perfect ground for a structure.
For instance, the excavator should dig down to approximately 12 inches to put a foundation according to the California Residential Code. If you need a basement, there will be more tasks to be completed such as excavating deeper, fill around the foundations with soil, implement drainage mechanisms to control the stormwater flow, etc.
These cuttings and fillings are not done at a fixed cost since it depends on the site’s nature and soil displacement. However, a good civil engineer has the know-how to minimize soil import and export. This way the project can save a lot of money.
- Creating drainage plans
Drainage features are typically included in the grading plans that are created for small residential projects. If the respective jurisdiction demands a complete separate drainage plan, then it should include a variety of features such as grates, erosion control measures, swales, berms, and ridges that exist or were proposed, etc.
In case you need a detailed drainage plan that can be submitted to the building officials you can get help from a civil engineer who will do an exceptional job.
- Planning sanitary drainage
Every building requires pipes that carry human waste outside and connect themselves to the public sewer. Most of the state jurisdictions and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demand these systems to comply with significant design and quality criteria.
These systems should be designed to prioritize public health and the environment. Thus, Civil engineers can plan sewer laterals and prepare documents to send out with the sewer permit application. These permits are mandatory for gaining permission if a new sewer connection needs to be made to the city’s sewage system.
- Taking effective measures for soil erosion
Typically, soil erosion is a natural occurrence that is caused by rainwater runoff. Although this happens naturally with time, soil erosion can be further increased by construction activities. The soil that washed away in the long run during any construction can clog the storm-water pipes and bodies of water. This can badly impact natural habitats and drainage infrastructure.
A well trained civil engineer can apply measures that can control the damage originating with erosion. They can pinpoint where the storm-water pollutants are located on the site and limit the exposed soil amount on the site. They can also advise using silt fences to restrict sediment from leaving the site. Moreover, storm-water can be diverted to enter vegetation.
- Ensuring building safety
Structural engineers make sure that each and every building we utilize can withstand earthquakes. However, civil engineers are the ones who will ensure building safety while mitigating the effects of floods.
Likewise, a civil engineer can help you with local, state, and federal compliance when a flood-way encroachment permit is needed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The bottom line
Regardless of the project, hiring a trained civil engineer can maximize your development goals, augment the output, establish safety, and allow the construction project to be in good compliance with government regulations. We understand the nuances involved in streamlining your next project. Contact us here today.