Why do I need an engineer?

Why do I need an engineer?

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd

Why do I need an engineer?

Some of our clients arrive at our doorstep slightly puzzled that they have to employ a professional civil/structural engineer before they can submit the building plans for their new house, major renovation, housing development, new office building or shopping centre. They often ask why their architect, draughtsperson or contractor can’t sign off on their plans without getting another professional/registered person involved.

It’s in the law

The reason for this rests with three pieces of legislation that deal with the appointment and duties of engineers for the protection of the consumer. They are:

  • The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, Act 103 of 1977 and the rules for its application, the National Standard SANS 10400: Code of Practice.
  • The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act (Act No. 95 of 1998) and
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act No. 85 of 1993).

The National Building Regulations lists all the planned technical work on a project that a professional engineer takes responsibility for in the so-called A19 form (Form 2, SANS 10400-A: 2010). This form is required from the building owner by the local municipality before the municipality can approve any building plans.

Benefits of an engineer

Employing a professional engineer has several benefits. Firstly, an engineer can help with technical advice on the structural system best suited to your building. This ensures that the completed building is cost-effective, durable, safe and practical.

Amongst others, a professional engineer will provide you with the specifications for all the construction materials used on your project. He or she will also provide drawings and details on how to execute the technical parts of the building. To ensure that the building adheres to the best possible building practices, the professional engineer will conduct regular site visits and inspections during construction.

The engineer works closely with the contractor and architect to ensure that any technical issues are resolved. He or she will sometimes issue site instructions that have to be followed before the engineer may issue a completion certificate. This certificate is issued only on final inspection of your building. It is your guarantee that your building is constructed according to all the technical specifications and is compliant with South African building standards. The engineer’s completion certificate is essential as it gives the local municipality the green light to give the building owner occupation approval.

An engineer is not normally required to supervise a contractor or take responsibility for a contractor’s workmanship. However, this is dependent on the client’s specific requirements. The final cost of the services provided by a professional engineer is usually a small percentage of the final project value, depending on the scope of the project and the extent of engineering input required.

How to select an engineer

When selecting your engineer, ensure that he or she is registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) by visiting and entering his or registration number. ECSA regulates the registration and conduct of engineers according to the Engineering Profession Act (Act 46 of 2000). It will investigate any complaints if you are dissatisfied with the service the engineer provides.

For more information, contact Kent Georgala.

Why do I need an engineer?

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd

Omega Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd is a Napier-based civil engineering consultancy company. Spearheaded by Kent Georgala, Omega Consulting Africa (OCA) provides professional consulting and engineering services to clients in numerous industries looking for solutions to complex engineering problems. Se...

View Profile

What is Xplorio?

Xplorio is your local connection allowing you to find anything and everything about a town.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Welcome to Napier
Read More

Recent Posts

OCA Meets Increased Demand For Forensic Engineering

OCA Meets Increased Demand For Forensic Engin...

More South African home owners and developers will require the assistance of forensic engineers.

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Difference?

Septic VS Conservancy Tank: What's The Differ...

If you’re about to design or start on a new build here in the Overberg, you will inevitably be faced with the choice on how to dispose of your building's sewage.

Green Buildings Can Save The Planet

Green Buildings Can Save The Planet

It is no secret that we are using up the Earth’s natural resources at a staggering rate.

Nothing Beats A Solid Foundation

Nothing Beats A Solid Foundation

One of the most important parts of any building is its foundation because it provides the necessary support for the structures it carries.

OCA introduces new service to Overberg property buyers

OCA introduces new service to Overberg proper...

Omega Consulting Africa (OCA) has added a home inspection service.