Structural Innovations and Construction Regulations

Structural failure in the construction is an avoidable occurrence. Following provided laws and regulations, employing experienced engineers and applying changes in project development can reduce structural failures in the United States. Other times structural failure is an unavoidable if they result from the natural catastrophe like seismic earthquakes. This article outlines important laws to consider while designing and implementing projects and innovations in the structure designs.

Contractors’ Risks

Under the statute of Federal contracts, the project owner bears the risk of unpredictable conditions. Unforeseen conditions arise from a material difference in unit prices and quantities during the performance of the contract. In most cases, parties negotiate prices in advance during binding and Bills of Quantities. The contractor bears the risk of cost escalation unless the owners are willing to accept the risk of critical material price rise. If the investor of the project does not take cost escalation provisions, the contractor can mitigate risks by locking material costs in purchase orders pre-bid, use hedging instruments or include sufficient contingency.

Licensing

Architects and a structural engineer in construction firms should be registered. The businesses require local licenses in the United States they operate to provide professional services. The licensing requirements of contractors differ from one state to another. For instance, states such as California have statutes requiring all contractors to have licenses while New York leaves the licensing requirement to local municipalities. Project owners are responsible for obtaining relevant construction permits for the overall project from registered authorities while the contractors require certifications in safety compliance, fire safety, occupancy, and development licenses during construction and after completion of the project.

Insurance

The US construction market requires contractors to undertake insurance covers on employees, environmental damage, economic losses and property destruction. Some of the insurance covers include; property insurance, pollution insurance, builder’s risk, workers’ compensation, employer liability and comprehensive general liability among others.

Health and Safety

Various health and safety laws and regulations exist at the federal, state, and municipal levels. At the national scale, the leading law is the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), under which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (under the US Department of Labor) has set out regulations governing the safety of construction worksites. The rules promote safety training, inspects projects, investigates workplace, conducts hearings and awards monies to employees in case of violations.

Innovations in Design

Contractors have been applying significant technological advancement to improve the strength of structures. The use of computer-generated models has created new amazing designs. Computers are fed with thousands of previous design projects and optimize to develop new engineering designs. Next innovation is the increased use of the drone is surveys and designing. Drones can gather data even on challenging terrains by taking photographs and linking to design software to produce new designs. The drones also help in the inspection of projects to identify leakages and cracks. The next innovation is the use of 3D printing which helps building managers visualize designs and estimate cost of walls. The 3D printing reduces material wastage and lowers the cost of a project.

In conclusion, contractors should ensure they have required licenses to operate and maximize profits, maintain health and safety and provide insurance for the contract and employees. Their engineers should obtain required professional certifications and apply 3D printing, and drones in developing new designs.