Engineering is a complex area of practice because many of the branches overlap or blend into each other. Residential engineering is a good example of these blurry boundaries because it is such a complex undertaking and involves a variety of knowledge areas, practical skills, and sensitivity to the needs of clients in order to be done successfully.
Start with a definition
The practice of residential engineering involves taking engineering resources and applying them to work for clients that can include home buyers, homeowners, lenders, realtors and contractors. This work can involve a single home or a large community that will include thousands of homes as well as schools, parks, and other features.
Look at Examples You See Everyday
Unless you live in complete isolation, it is more likely than not that you have seen the projects created by these engineers. Large golf course communities, lakefront developments, or even housing in downtown areas are all within the purview of these professionals.
Some of the services they provide include the following:
– Site selection: Before any project can begin, the people who are funding it must choose the right location. This involves consideration of surrounding areas, roadways, potential zoning concerns, costs, and other factors that vary from one project to another.
– Surveying: Surveying is the process that determines the exact location and height of certain boundaries and structures which will play a role in positioning infrastructure and even property lines.
– Architectural Planning and Design: While not all firms offer architectural planning, it is an important part of the process because it takes into account all aspects of the project from site selection through to the living requirements. Additionally, depending on where you are building there may be structural codes that need to be met and should be accounted for in the early stages of the project.
– Permits and rezoning: In many regions, there are zoning restrictions that can impede a residential engineering project or permits required to undertake certain types of development. A residential engineer must understand the process for rezoning a given area and getting the right permits.
– Water: Whether it is planning for storm water or ensuring that there will be sufficient drinking water for the people who move into a development, water resources and planning are a major concern.
– Construction administration: Residential engineers are not restricted to the early stages of a project. In some cases, they also play an active role during the construction process, ensuring that the structures are built in accordance with the plans.
Residential engineering is an exciting field because it is challenging and rewarding, requiring a great deal of knowledge and skills to create a product that will affect the lives of residents each and every day.
However, it is worth noting that many firms do not like to work in this area for a number of reasons; so make sure to ask any potential firm or group if they in fact can actually handle your project in a manner that meets your individual customer needs in a timely manner.