Civil Engineering has a significant impact on society. Facilities and infrastructure designed by them influence several lives.
They have to cater all the technical, environmental, social and economical aspect of a project. A civil engineer plan, analyzes, design and construct a structure for particular site conditions, loadings, and materials.
Duties and tasks of a civil engineer are briefly discussed here:
1. Feasibility Analysis
This is the first step of any project. A civil engineer first checks the social, environmental and economic feasibility of a project. The feasible structure is the one which is environment-friendly, sustainable, economical and energy efficient.
The Civil engineer prepares the basic planning layout for work. If he is planning a town, he considered the population to built residences, supplies, maintenance, drainage, transport, and amenities. He takes into account the safety and aesthetic measures in his planning.
3. Site Investigation
Civil Engineer gathers all the necessary data for his project. Such as site condition, existing facilities, vegetation, soil type, terrain, bearing capacity, moisture content, climate, market values, material, labor, equipment availability, workmanship, political influence, and risk associated with job etc.
A Civil engineer surveys the land topography, leveling and mean sea level to lay the structure. He examines land profile and requirement of cut and fills at site. This is particularly very important in the case of railway line, pipeline, and tunnels.
In the structural designing phase of the project, civil engineer work out member sizes, material strengths required to resist the applied forces and stresses. For hydraulic structure, diameter, thickness, and slope of the channel have to be calculated.
For highway design, it is required to conduct traffic capacity analysis to get applied loading. Geometric designing and pavement engineering is performed to workout width, super-elevation, asphalt and base coarse thicknesses.
6. Material Testing and Specifications
Prior to construction at the site, civil engineer tests the material properties and strengths in the laboratory.
For concrete structure, mix design ratios, grain size, sieve analysis, slump test and shear tests are performed. Properties of admixture are also tested at the laboratory. On the basis of the test results, a civil engineer writes a specification to be used for a particular project.
7. Tendering and Hiring of Contractor
When the design and documentation part is complete liaise with the client, they hire a contractor or contractor firm. A contractor is also a civil engineer or one who have equivalent knowledge and experience of civil engineer. The contractor is selected on the basis of skills required for a job.
8. Scheduling and Estimations
Once the contractor or construction engineer is hired, first he prepares the list of activities, milestones, and resources required for the job. He prepares the project schedule considering the factors of time, cost, and quality.
He prepares quantity estimation, bar bending, bill of quantities and shop drawings. If it is a big project, required more skills, he may hire specialty contractor or subcontractor for that particular milestone.
9. Site Investigation
A civil engineer at construction site guides the labor and coordinate design requirement. He explains specification and notes such that there will be no mistake in execution. He informs design engineer if there is any problem in performing the task mention in drawings and discuss alternatives. A design engineer also visits the site occasionally.
Briefly, we can say, Civil Engineer has to be involved from planning to execution and operation. He is there to address all the technical, legal and documentation work. He is also concerned while operation and maintenance of the facility.