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[SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Quality in Engineering - checking

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     We have a 9 person office and after the calcs are complete the design is
reviewed by an SE in detail. Then after the drafter completes the plan the
design engineer reviews the plan  and then the review SE again checks the
final plan in general. Even after this and the building department check
there are still occasional  discrepancies ( never errors ~~ ) .
      I was surprised that i had three different 20,000 square foot houses
approved  ( one a steel stud ) in L.A. city , beverly park,  with only one
correction: have the soil engineer sign the plan. Then on a small room
addition i got a long list. I guess the big houses could afford a permit
expiditer but the room addition couldn't.
     On the other hand we provide plan check consulting to the cities of
Oxnard and Port Hueneme ( In years past i have also reviewed plans in Ventura
, Santa Paula , and Santa Barbara Co.). Of course we are not allowed to
design in jurisdictions we plan check in. We try to provide a comprehensive
plan check but many engineers may not understand the plan checker is also
just as interested in exiting, fire and life safety, ventilation, lite,
handicapped, plumbling,mech.,elect., energy,soils,noise, etc, as structural.
If a pile of e-tabs output is included most plan checkers hope the design
professional knows what they are doing as most plan checkers can not
independently verify a dynamic analysis. I can not remember a perfect set of
plans in over 5000 plan checks. I was talking to a retired plan check
engineer  at a consulting structural engineers society meeting last nite and
he said in plan checking for L.A. Co. for 25 years he didn't remember
approving a plan on the first submittal.
     I hope that helps.

Tom Harris, SE
Thousand Oaks, CA

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