Dear YouDig?


Dear YouDig?

We are structural engineers and often find that dealing with design and project architects is akin to a trip to the Land of Oz. We encounter dreamy plans that are pretty on paper, but require major changes to the laws of physics. And some, not all, architects are persnickety when challenged and therefore, less than accommodating. Yet they are often empowered to hold up a project by the AIA documents and the ever-present “creative differences.” How do we minimize this friction?

-No Courage



Dear NC,

Have a heart NC!  You can do this!  Just be mindful and co-exist. We dig architects for their creative delivery of aesthetics and design functionality. They help bring color and beauty for us to see and experience in what can often be a black and white or stark world. We definitely dig the structural engineers for providing structural integrity and durability to safely deliver the architects vision of the structure home so it won’t be blown away in a storm and land on a witch. Even the best engineer can’t make a building float.

Is an architect without a civil engineer simply a sketch artist?
Is an engineer without an architect capable of constructing exciting public spaces beyond the black and white?

Their co-dependent existence is inherent in any project and we all benefit from delivery of beautiful, safe and progressively functional structures. Negotiate terms which establish a process which allows your engineering team to quickly raise problems with the architectural design. Be prepared to deliver detailed support for your position.  If the dream can’t be built, all of the players must know sooner than later, especially the wizard…oops I mean the owner.

Above all, encourage a spirit of cooperation to follow the road to resolution, even if it is made of yellow bricks. YouDig?