The structural engineer’s words have weight in heavy fixings
“Design always aims for economical solutions but, in the case of fixings, the quantities must be huge to warrant a more detailed price comparison between different fixings,” says “Usually, a request for replacing a fixing to a corresponding one from a different manufacturer comes from a contractor that compares prices continuously. However, the need for replacing a fixing is not always due to the price; often, the contractor has found a specific alternative to be better and therefore wants to use it.
However, the structural engineer’s proposals are not usually deviated from at the site. If the fixing is to be replaced, the structural engineer is asked about the possibility almost without exception.”
“It depends on the case whether deviating is permitted. Often, the plans mention the fixing to be used with a corresponding product in parentheses, in which case it can naturally be used.
Structural engineer Tomi Lehtonen engaged in design work
According to Lehtonen, quality is decisive in choosing the fixing.
“Also, the tools offered by the fixing manufacturer affect the selection of fixings. The quality and usability of the brochures matter. Lehtonen also thinks about the end user, or the ease of installation, to some extent.
Lehtonen browses the internet for information. He also occasionally visits websites of fixing manufacturers. In designing, he uses fixing manufacturers’ brochures and the internet for assistance.
He supposes that some structural engineers are well aware of the kinds of fixings available, but not everyone.
“It depends a lot on the engineer and also the type of design they are primarily engaged in. An engineer who specialises in a particular area may be very well aware of the fixings available in that area, while an engineer who does general design might not be.”
Lehtonen also praises the training provided by fixing manufacturers. He has found them essential.
“Additional training is always useful, because fixings are developing all the time.
Tomi Lehtonen, Introgroup Oy, www.introgroup.fi
• Graduated as a construction engineer from Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2000.
• Founded his own company in 2005 and initially worked part-time self-employed. At the beginning of this year, he became a full-time entrepreneur with his own company Introgroup Oy.
• The work varies a lot, from holiday homes to shopping centres and everything in between. He specialises in information modelling. Lehtonen designs all projects using building information models. Utilisation of information models at the site and in the fabrication of prefabricated parts is also a special expertise. In addition to structural engineering, Introgroup’s services include programming and development work for the more efficient use of building information models. In addition, Lehtonen does programming for CAD applications.
• He enjoys the multi-faceted nature of his duties. No two days are the same.
• The most challenging thing about the work is keeping up to date. The field is developing continuously, and especially building information modelling which is becoming more common and requires the continuous development of one’s own working methods and the design environment. Also, the company’s design tools must be up to date.