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- Subject: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Special Inspection
- From: sandy <sandyp(--nospam--at)beachnet.com>
- Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 04:43:52 -0700
Over the years, the Uniform Building Code has changed to meet the requirements for a changing world. Regarding Special Inspection, the code progressively and consistantly has been worded and re-worded to reflect the desire to keep the Contractor from hiring the Special Inspector. The Ammemdments to the 1991 UBC included wording that read "but not the Contractor or any other person responsible for the work" when regarding who was to hire the Special Inspector. The 1994 UBC addresses Special Inspection in at least two places, Chapter 1 and Chapter 17. Chapter 1, under the Inspection Program, the Engineer is required to specify the names of the individuals or firm that is to provide Special Inspection and the areas they will be inspecting BEFORE THE ISSUANCE OF THE PERMIT. This is being enforced in some municipalities already and others are slowly following suit. In fact, the majority of our business is from referral by the Engineer. Chapter 17 specifies that the Special Inspector shall be in the employ of the owner or the owner's representative. All references in the UBC to Special Inspection (called Deputy Inspection in some locales) make clear the need to keep the "fox out of the hen house". DSA and OSHD Inspectors are not hired by the Contractor, are specifically approved by the Architect or Engineer for the project, are monitored by DSA or OSHPD and have to pass testing in addition to the usual ICBO testing. As with all programs, there are drawbacks with each of these programs, but efforts are being made to change them, for instance the frequency of testing. Currently these Inspectors are only tested once per discipline, but expected changes will begin a 3 years testing cycle as with ICBO exams. DSA and OSHPD are state wide programs, however, and not subject to the vagaries and inconsistancies in qualifications of each municipality as are Special/Deputy Inspectors. The issue of qualified personnel inspecting your projects is something you and only you, as Engineers, do control. If you leave the issue alone, the Contractor ends up hiring the Inspector and that makes him the Boss, making the Special/Deputy Inspector's job more difficult. I strongly suggest that Design Engineers adhere to the UBC regarding this specification. The other two Building Codes within the USA have similar provisions and the upcoming unification to one code in the near future also address this issue in a like fashion. Specify individuals or firms with which you are familiar and are comfortable with; become involved in the selection and, I can assure you, the quality of your projects and the of the reports to your office will show a marked positive change. I serve on a committee for ASTM, meeting twice a year, which develops the criteria, using ISO 9000 Guidelines, for Inspection Agencies. The next meeting is in Orlando next week for 4 days. Currently we are modifying an existing document to better embrace the construction field specifically, so shortly you will be able to specify either individuals or agencies that conform to the Inspection Body Criteria as delineated in ASTM for construction. This should be published this year, we've been working on it for two years and are in what I hope is the final draft. In the meantime, however, please continue to get more involved. Frequently, the Engineer is hired by the Architect, who takes your design and then makes decisions, as you well know, that may adversely effect the spirit of your design. Special Inspection is clearly an engineering issue. You really want to know that we, as Special Inspectors, are YOUR EYES and have the spririt of YOUR DESIGN in mind. You want to know about problems and how they have been handled or, if necessary, your office should be brought into the solution. We are not designers and will not make design decisions, but rather will work to expedite the project's completion within you design. Special Inspection on a project can save a lot of money..... Help us to help you, specify your Inspectors or firms. R. Sandy Pringle MM sandyp(--nospam--at)beachnet.com Sandy Pringle & Associates Structural Inspection Consultants "He has achieved success who Hermosa Beach, California has lived well and laughed often." ...
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