Structural Design I've designed it all...from simple lean-tos to a 1,000 ft tall Japanese Temple (for Minoru Yamasaki). I earned my Master's Degree in Structures and got my structural license. I started out at a design-build firm and they trained me to prepare fast, safe, efficient and cost effective framing systems. Now I own the best and most powerful structural software available, and I'm not afraid to use it.
Here's my structural design philosophy in a nutshell. Examine the graph below (no, please...it's really simple). It shows the life cycle of a structural component: e.g. a single bolt, a column foundation, or an entire building frame. The strength of the item is shown in red and the force on the component is in blue (all arbitrary units) over the years (also arbitrary). Three areas are highlighted in yellow:
1) The load has exceeded the capacity...the item fails. Maybe people die. See the Code of Hamurabi! I NEVER DESIGN HERE! I am very, very careful during the design. I check, and double check, everything, and I always have an independent review of my work.
2) Here's where I work. Strength is 2 to 3 times the expected load.
3) Here's where some structural engineers work: safety factors of 10, 20 or more. They sleep better at night. And who pays for their overdesign? The poor client! I NEVER DESIGN HERE EITHER!
To see a sample of my work, look over my TRACOM REPORT .