If any construction project is to be properly carried out, the structural designs have to be followed to the letter. If the structural designs are not followed to the letter, you end up with an edifice that is not structurally sound. Such a structure may, at the end of the day, be declared to be unsafe for human habitation. But even if it is approved for occupation, it will tend to require frequent repairs. It may also not be durable. The latter scenario, where you end up with edifices that are not very durable, is commonly witnessed in projects that entail construction of bridge structures.
The question that arises, then, is as to what can be done, to ensure that structural designs are properly implemented in construction projects. And in my experience, there are three things that can be done, to ensure that is done.
Firstly, the people who are involved in the construction projects need to be sensitized on the importance of the structural designs. They need to be informed that if they don’t follow the structural engineering designs to the letter, they will end up with edifices that are not structurally sound – and that they will be held responsible for the aftermath. They also need to be informed that their professional reputations will be ruined, if they don’t follow the structural designs to the letter. Thus, a mason or a foreman may choose not to follow a structural design to the letter. But then, in future, he may go to a site like www.sunbiz.org, with a view to register a construction company. And while it will probably be easy enough for him to get the company incorporated at Sunbiz.org (given the fact that the incorporation rules at the Sunbiz website are so simple), he is likely to struggle being awarded projects thereafter. This would be due to his damaged reputation. Thus, it is important to make it clear that it is in the workers’ best interests to follow the structural designs to the letter: otherwise they risk messing up with their professional reputations.
Secondly, the structural engineers need to be closely involved in the construction projects, in order to ensure full compliance with the structural designs. This way, if a key element is missed, the problem can be noticed early enough, and rectified before it gets compounded.
Thirdly, in major construction projects, it is often necessary to hire staff whose sole responsibility is that of ensuring that the structural designs are properly implemented.The cost of hiring such people is nothing, compared to the possibility of ending up with an edifice that is not structurally sound.