What Do Civil Engineers Do?

What Do Civil Engineers Do?

Civil engineers are highly trained professionals who implement projects and supervise their progress. Where architects draw up plans, civil engineers bring those plans into reality. They play a hands-on role in ensuring your project is completed safely and accurately. Construction projects have many moving parts, and civil engineers bring them all together, coordinating with various contractors.

As the head of the construction team, civil engineers meet with contractors and supervisors and answer any questions they have. They supervise the construction and correct any errors. In addition, they inspect the project for safety and quality.

Civil engineers are also the problem solvers. Often, project plans look good to architects and clients but have not considered several principles of sound construction. When this occurs, the civil engineer knows how to alter the construction to both meet key standards and achieve the plan’s goals.   

Why Are Civil Engineers Especially Important on Commercial Projects?

Commercial projects include the construction of structures and facilities for private businesses or public works. Examples include retail shops, restaurants, hotels, medical buildings, hospitals, industrial shops, and office buildings.

Commercial projects are far more complex than residential ones. The building must comply with tighter regulations and gaining government approval is far more challenging. Civil engineers manage these complexities. Without them, commercial projects would lack the much-needed extra attention to detail.

Examples of Civil Engineer Responsibilities on Commercial Building Projects

Civil engineers perform the following key responsibilities:

Environmental Mitigation

Civil engineers study plans and the construction site to determine how to implement the project with minimum pollution and hazards. They create a plan for environmental mitigation and ensure it is followed.

Cost Minimization

Reducing costs is important. For example, a project may be less expensive if a certain material is chosen. But would that choice negatively impact the quality of construction or violate building codes? Civil engineers have the training and experience to answer these questions accurately.

Legal Compliance

Civil engineers ensure compliance with local and state zoning laws. They understand how to achieve the project’s goals while adhering to legal standards. This is especially important to avoid litigation. 


Civil engineers implement the project by determining how to make the plans a reality. They supervise the construction to ensure that standards of quality and safety are met. 

You need a civil engineer for your commercial project when implementing the plans has complications that cannot be overcome by contractors. In addition, civil engineers are needed for projects requiring the navigation of complex regulations and the skill to solve practical problems in bringing the plan’s vision to reality.

Carlton Building Services in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services specializes in medical facility renovation in Hampton Roads Virginia. The company also handles new builds, retail renovation and commercial space remodeling in Hampton Roads. Our services come highly recommended. 

If you need general building contractor services in Hampton Roads, Virginia, contact Carlton Building Services today. We have a wide arrange of past project highlights that you can peruse prior to making a decision.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.