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A consulting engineer is called by client when client does not have engineering capability, his engineering staff not qualified in work area, client can not free his engineering staff from present commitments, or client needs an outside objective analysis (Refer to article Reason for engaging civil and structural engineers).
Normally the work of civil and structural consulting engineer starts when then engineer signs a contract with client. Frequently, the employment of civil and structural consulting engineer will continue whenever the first task for client has been fully satisfied. In a design office such as civil and structural consultant, there are a number of work needs to be done as follow:
When client has a general idea of what he wants on a specific assignment, he may be unaware about the scope of work. Consulting engineer is called and carry out studies and reports in a variety of way. Based on the reports forwarded to client, client is able to determine the workability of his assignment
After a project is awarded to engineer, initially client may want to know some preliminary information such as initial cost estimation, equipments, local authorities' requirements etc. Consulting engineer plays an important role in this matter. In this stage, it may start with some submission of works to authorities for approval.
3.Liaise with client, architect, quantitative surveyors, mechanical and electrical engineers and local authorities.
In order to accomplish the project, civil and structural consulting engineer has to all the time liaise with client and update the changes of client. During the preparation of the preliminary design, civil and structural engineer needs to liaise to architect, quantity surveyors, mechanical and electrical engineers and local authorities. He has to incorporate the entire requirement from these parties into his design.
Further to the requirement obtained, it is able to prepare detail design such as actual building structural, drainage system, water supply and sewer system for the project.
5.Preparation of drawings.
All these details are further transform into drawings.
When details design drawings is ready, consulting engineer may require preparation cost estimation for client. If client has in house quantities surveyors, he will carry out his own cost estimation and compare with consulting engineer results. Budget will be checked.
7.Preparation of tender document.
When all the requirements and needs have satisfied the client, it will still be the time for preparing tender document. Tendering will be called.
8.Evaluation of tender.
After tender closed, reports for evaluation of tender will be forwarded to client. In the reports, engineer will propose recommendation to client. Client will based on his best judgment and select a candidate.
9.Getting approval from authorities.
During preliminary design until tendering or even during construction, consulting engineer needs to liaise with authorities for obtaining all necessary approval from local authorities. Without the approval from authorities, project can not be accomplished.
After the awarded of project to candidate, project will stay. This is the time of supervision of project start. Through the project, quality control must be given the highest priority. Civil and structural consulting engineer will base on his best ability to monitor the project. Attention to quality control during the design and bidding stages will be wasted if adequate inspection by the consulting engineer is not carried out during construction.
Civil and structural consulting engineer is all the time facing with items that mention above. He will be based on his own professionalism to overcome the mention matters.
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Chee Shai Choon