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[SEAOC] Re: Truss discussion.

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Let me add my 2 cents, but I hope I haven't wandered too far off topic:

 >I often have a very similar scenerio:  Although we try very hard to be
 >retained to provide continuing engineering services during the
 >construction of projects we design, there are instances (especially on
 >governmental projects) where the owner retains an independant
 >construction management firm.  In this case, the original design
 >professional unually has no involvement during construction.  

No, I disagree.  The original design professional will be involved if there
is a "design defect".

The general principal as I understand it is that the designer is responsible
for the coordination of the design.  The coordination of the construction (or
the "works") is the responsibility of the construction management firm and/or
the contractor, depending upon the contractural arrangement.
> This is a curious statement, which, if true, shows how different things are
>in different parts of the country. For my employer, the City of Los Angeles,
>we frequently hire an independant construction management firm. In fact, the
>job I'm on now has one of the best: Bechtel. However, in all cases of RFI's,
>clarifications, or any question of design change, all answers are from the
> engineer and architect of record. After all, they carry the liability.
  The engineer and architect of record probably carries insurance for design
defects.  The contractors probably carries insurance for builder's risk and
general liability, plus has to post performance bonds and has other financial
incentives.  I doubt if they carry design defect insurance, they didn't do
the design.

  For RFI clarifications, you have to look at your contract and the local
laws (in U.S. the Federal, State and Local) to see who you should direct them
to (you may need a lawyer to help you do that if tort law is involved).  Most
government contracts that I've seen seem to require you direct them to the
government agency you contracted with.  However, you can put a little fire
under the feet of the agency by saying in your RFI that if the information is
not received by such_and_such a date, then the work will be delayed
(government agencies don't like being held responsible for delays - it ruins
their performance review).

  As for big companies like Bechtel being the "best", that's a matter of
preception.  In my opinion, they have to earn that preception every time they
get a job since they're human beings like everybody else.

Ray Pixley