The structural elements required in such cases, like steel moment frames, complicated collector assemblies, and heavy beams to accommodate overturning loads, add to the construction cost. Additionally, when an engineer has to rely on many such elements to provide an adequate structural system, the accusation of “over-engineering” is heard. This complaint is usually brought up by the Contractor who provided an initial construction cost estimate based on the early designs that did not benefit from the input of a structural engineer.
When the construction documents are complete, incorporating all the “workarounds” that result from late structural engineering input, and the actual cost of construction is higher than the initial estimate, the design team is then blamed for the difference.
Early involvement of the structural engineer results in better project outcomes for the owner and for the architect.