Survey of Structural Engineering Practice

In 2017, the MEICON team put together a 20-minute survey to examine culture and practice in structural engineering design relating to embodied energy. The survey asked questions about respondents current design practice.

The full report can be downloaded by clicking here

If you wish to help with the research, you can:

  1. Answer some of our "Industry Questions"
  2. Join a research team to solve some of our "Research Questions"

Next steps


Our long-term vision is for the built environment to be designed cost-effectively, based on whole life cycle energy consumption using minimum material resource for appropriate performance in a circular economy.

What you can do now

  • Analyse your personal practice as it relates to embodied energy. Consider:
    • How often do you measure embodied energy? What are your own benchmarks for design efficiency? What barriers do you experience to achieving minimal embodied energy structures?
  • Analyse your own responses to the survey questions against the findings.
  • Review your personal practice by comparing it with those of your colleagues, both inside and outside your organisation. Include your choices of loading, serviceability criteria, extent of calculations across multiple elements and the importance of ‘what-if’ factors. Create a database of embodied energy per m2 values for your projects.
  • Form an action learning group to share experiences of trying to implement these principles in your design work. Share your findings with colleagues, examine differences, and identify best practice.
  • Feedback your anonymised findings to the MEICON team ( to help us collate international benchmarks.
  • Consider our “Industry Questions”. Choose those that interest you most. Discuss them with colleagues and clients, write an initial response in three bullet points, and circulate your ideas company-wide to generate discussion.
  • Examine our “Research Questions”. Choose those you feel able to help answer and enter your details at to join a new research team.
  • Analyse how your company’s sustainability strategy addresses material efficiency in design. How might MEICON be used to help improve it?
  • Agree to making at least one change to your practice based on these results

Your input

This research is collaborative and requires the input of our community – please engage with the MEICON team by joining us at workshops and events. Full information is available on the project website,