In South Australia there are a multitude of builders who use standard calculations to gain development approval for application of a variety of products: pergolas, verandahs, retaining walls, balustrades, sail-shades, sheds.
What the customer wants however doesn't always match the available calculations held by the supplier. The suppliers rely on the local councils identifying problem areas and requesting further information. The customer, then experiences a delay as the supplier attempts to find a consulting engineer to produce calcs-for-council. The design having already been determined: worst already constructed and inline for demolition if not proven adequate.
The point of the customer going to the supplier in the first place is to avoid wasting time with architects and engineers designing the structure they want. They want the structure delivered and installed in a short time frame.
It is therefore important that such suppliers employ technical people on staff and not rely on consulting engineers. Consultants design buildings one at a time, and are reactive. A manufacturer needs to be proactive, and identified the potential needs of the market and pre-engineered potential solutions. So that when the customer comes along a design-solution to meet their needs is readily available, proven, and easy to implement.
This group is set up to discuss the difference approaches required to design of a end-product that could be made and installed a 1000 times or more per year, based on a single design. It is thus important that such design be correct.
For those interested in the specifics of sheds and steel buildings, refer to the SA Shed Group. For structural products other than sheds, this is the group to discuss the issues.