Early Advice on Structural Engineering
The original idea of EASE came from a time when I was working in Ireland. We were working on a large shopping centre and the way the Architect organised it was to do some early sketches and then assemble the design team away from everyone in a flat they owned. There was the Architect, Structural Engineers, M&E consultant and QS. Over the course of two days we made a rough design of the whole building. For instance there was an underground car park - the Architect said what column spacings were best for him, the M&E said how they wanted to run ducts, we did a rough calculation on beam sizes and the QS advised on the cost. We then homed in on the best for everyone and fixed the design.
After working through all main elements the Architect went away and did his drawings, we added the structure and the M&E the services and almost nothing changed. This was a very efficient way of working for all of the design team and produced a more economic end product for the client.
It's never too early to bring in the Engineers
With most projects we work on, the building shape is often fixed before we get involved. This can result in either too much space left for the structure or too often not enough. The benefit of EASE is not only in producing a more economic design you also can allow more opportunities for Architectural flare. We can advise on the consequences of architectural decisions or better still suggest ways of achieving the Architect's goal.
I had one job where we were building a hotel and when the job was almost complete the Architect said in passing that he wished he had not had a column in the entrance foyer. The column was on his original drawings and hence was a structural column but had he talked to us earlier on there was a wall above that could have been moved slightly and turned into a full height RC beam doing away with the need for that column!
There is a approach referred to as ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) and we have used it a few times along with Partnering but this does not normally reap the benefits that can be achieved with the EASE approach.
EASE is a totally free service!
We are happy to offer you free advice at the earliest stages of a project... with no obligation. All that we ask is that you considered us for the full engineering design when the project reaches that stage. Hopefully after our early involvement Architects will realise the benefits we can bring to the project and recommend our appointment to the client or at least put us on the tender list.