Structural & Consulting Engineers

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NZS3604, the New Zealand Standard for Non-Specific Design of Light Timber Framing, is the New Zealand standard you can generally build to without engaging a structural engineer.

Work that falls outside this Standard, or dealing with imperfections within the Standard, requires specific design by an engineer. Specific design is often required for new residential dwellings and additions/alterations work. Foundations, beams, and bracing are common items designed by the engineer. The structural design is usually prepared from the architectural drawings.

Retaining walls over 1.5 metres high, and walls with a surcharge (eg wheel load), require specific design. The engineer provides drawings and details suitable for both Council consent purposes and for construction. In the Wellington area more difficult sites are being developed and the services of a Geotechnical Engineer are often required. Geotechnical engineers specialise in ground stability and foundation issues. It is often appropriate to engage the services of a geotech-nical engineer prior to purchasing to confirm the suitability of building on the site.

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Consulting Engineers - Role & Costs

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It is likely that you will need to engage a professional engineer for part of the design of your house. You may wish to have an engineer advise on whether the site is suitable or if your plans comply with the local authority regulations, before you start. The engineer can advise on earthworks, drainage or septic tank requirements, and structural design requirements of the building. You can engage them directly or your architect or designer may do so on your behalf. There will be a fee for

theadviceanddesignworktheydo. Askyourengineeror architect what the cost will be, and what it does and does not include. Your engineer or architect may be required to provide you with a statement that the design or the construction complies with the Building Code. Your local authority may also have a requirement for construction to be monitored by an engineer. This will also incur a fee, but it is important to arrange monitoring before construction begins, as it cannot be done after the work is complete.