When you're ready to renovate a commercial building, you might want to call on an engineering consultant before you discuss your plans with a contractor. An engineer can be needed to ensure that your plans are safe and that you upgrade certain aspects of your building properly. Note a few times when you want to call on an engineering consultant to help with a building renovation and how they can assist you to make your plans a success.
1. When traffic may be affected
Engineers work with traffic consultants and even cities to note how traffic patterns can be affected by new construction and renovation. If you're adding a large portion or extra wing to your building then you may want to work with an engineer to help redesign your outside parking lot, and also so that he or she can work with the city to move traffic lights or install new ones. This will ensure the steady flow of traffic is not interrupted by your building renovation.
2. When a building renovation affects landscaping
If your building is near a pond or other water feature or you need to work it around walkways or parks, you want to consult with an engineer. This type of obstruction will affect how you renovate and build or add to your building. You may need to scale back your plans so they can work around walkways or parks, or you may find that soil near a water feature is not strong enough to support an addition. An engineer can also work with a builder to ensure that an atrium is properly supported if you want to build around a landscaping feature and keep sections of your building connected.
3. If the building is in a flood zone
Any type of renovation to a building in a flood zone can be hazardous, as you need to ensure that you have proper retaining walls built to block water or allow it to run around and away from your building. Flood plans can also be incorporated into a building so that any water that collects in a basement or first floor can be easily drained in case of a flood. Don't underestimate the importance of this; flood repairs to a building can be very costly and it doesn't take a major flood to suffer severe property damage. Have an engineer work with your builder before you renovate if you're at a high risk for floods in your area.