No set of documents is perfect; review of submittals and firsthand observations at the site may reveal conflicts between disciplines or misinterpretations by the contractor at a point in time when it is still possible to correct them with minimal cost and schedule impacts.
Structural engineers have a uniquely significant responsibility for protecting the public relative to the other design disciplines.
In recent centuries, the scientific and industrial revolutions introduced analytical approaches that allowed designers to go beyond empirical limitations and predict the behavior of building systems and components that existed only in their imaginations.
This gave rise to the formalization and specialization of the modern engineering profession, which in turn led to more accurate and cost-effective designs.
Every part of a building is subject to the effects of outside forces—gravity, wind, earthquakes, and temperature changes, to name a few.
Throughout history, people have constructed buildings that have withstood these forces over a long period of time, primarily using rules of thumb derived from their own experiences and those of their predecessors.
The events of September 11, 2001 have brought terrorism to the forefront as a design consideration, especially for attractive targets such as "icon" buildings, government facilities, and military installations.
Structural engineers who work on these projects, or those nearby that could suffer collateral damage in an attack, must now be familiar with the principles of blast effects analysis and design, as well as resistance to progressive collapse.
A well-designed organization ensures that the form of the organization matches its purpose or strategy, meets the challenges posed by business realities and significantly increases the likelihood that the collective efforts of people will be successful.
As companies grow and the challenges in the external environment become more complex, businesses processes, structures and systems that once worked become barriers to efficiency, customer service, employee morale and financial profitability.