So, you’re building a new home and applying for building permits. Don’t be surprised if the City asks you for site-specific engineering. If you want to have a better idea of what that is and why they are asking for it, continue reading.
Engineering Required for Permits Every city, town, and county across Alberta have different requirements when it comes to engineering. It is always best to apply for permits before requesting engineering, so you will know exactly what you will need. The City issuing your permits will probably ask for engineering details that are specific to your house design and property location. These details are usually only done for certain parts of the house. Many modern house designs have parts that will be more complex than standard construction outlined in the Alberta Building Code and other construction standards. The City issuing your permits will only accept engineering sealed by a professional who is registered to practice in Alberta. What are Common Requirements The engineering firm you choose might be able to help you identify what engineering details you will need, but it is a good idea to check with the City. Each area has its policies and expectations when it comes to engineering. Here are some of the common engineering details required when you are building in Alberta: Foundation walls – This detail shows how the steel rebar will be placed in the concrete foundation walls. It is often required if you have high basement walls. Lateral Bracing – This detail shows how the foundation wall will be connected to the main floor system. Stairwell Opening – This detail is needed when the stairs to the basement are against the foundation wall because, in the stairwell, there won’t be any floor joist to connect the foundation wall to. The detail will show how the steel rebar needs to be placed to ensure the wall is strong enough without the lateral bracing connection. Window Opening – This detail shows how the rebar will need to be placed around the window opening in the foundation wall. Many cities will ask for this when the window is bigger than 48 inches wide or takes up more than 25% of the basement wall. Column Footings – This detail gives you the size and rebar needed for the concrete pads that will go under the posts in your basement. Tall Walls – This detail is usually needed when your house's exterior framed walls are taller than 12’. Commonly you would find tall walls in the stairway going to the second floor, and sometimes in fancy front foyers and great rooms. An engineer’s detail will show how the wall framing needs to be to make sure the wall is structurally sound. Grade Beam and Piles – If you plan on having an attached garage, a grade beam and pile foundation is one option. The details for this will show how the grade beam and pile foundation will need to be built based on the garage loads. Deck Piles – If your new home will have a deck that is more than 5’ above ground, or if it has a roof over it, the City might ask you for deck pile engineering. You will need to choose the type of piles you want to install, and the most common are concrete piles and steel screw piles. What should you do before requesting engineering? Before you request engineering, you will need architectural or construction drawings. It would be best if you also had floor joist and roof truss engineering. These should be provided by the company you choose to manufacture and supply the floor and roof of your new home. Have a surveyor provide you with a plot plan of your property, and apply for a building permit from the City your building in. Once you know what engineering you will need for your building permit, you can request engineering. The engineer will often need all the documents listed above to provide you with accurate engineering details. Choosing an Engineer It is important to choose an engineer with experience in designing residential construction projects. The engineer you select should be licensed to practice in Alberta and have professional liability and general liability insurance. When your home has features that are not constructed in the time tested methods outlined in the Building Code and Construction Standards; choosing the right engineer will ensure that the design of those features will be structurally sound. Find an Engineering Consultant in Edmonton Now! With these amazing tips, you will be sure to find the right structural engineering consultant in Edmonton. For structural engineering services for your new home, contact us today!