A structural engineer requested we provide a detailed as built specification on a newly installed shade sail covering a school playground. The engineer was working on a structural analysis of the support posts as they may have been installed without proper engineering consideration and were showing visible signs of bending. There was concern they may fail without warning.
We carried out a full inspection of the site which required us to measure the post set out and relevant heights and sizes of each post. Positions and heights of the playground equipment were also taken to ensure that the sail support posts were not within the fall zone areas of the playground.
This information was then provided to the Engineer who was able to do a proper structural analysis of the as built structure. Using a specialised software program they were able to produce a 3D model of the structure and then using the exact positions of each post able to calculate the correct engineering size relating to the heights of the posts.
The findings showed that the posts as installed @ 114 OD CHS could only be used on a structure of that size to a height of 1.5 meters, not the 5 meters that had been installed. Further analysis showed the as built structure should have been a combination of 219 and 273 OD CHS posts, so the existing structure was well undersized.
The results of the findings were forwarded to the client for consideration which hopefully results in the original contractor being required to upgrade the structure to correct specifications.