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[SEAOC] Re: Quality in Engineering - checking

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Relating to my own question on checking of engineering documents, I will 
summarize the practice in my office.  We primarily design water and wastewater 
treatment plants for municipal/ county government agencies.  Our structural 
design calculations are routinely checked, although the method of checking may 
vary - some do a detailed number-by-number check, some do a general review and 
"ballpark" numerical check, and in some cases an independent analysis is done. 
 The methodology and design results are generally reviewed by a PE.  Computer 
analyses are preferred to be cross-checked by approximate manual calculations 
where practical - or as a minimum I expect an experienced engineer to review 
the methodology, input and results of a computer analysis.  Personally, I 
output as much useful data as possible (such as deflections, stresses and 
reactions for various load cases, including base load cases, etc.) to get a 
"feel" for the reasonableness of the computer results.   
Regarding drawings, all drafting redmarks are backchecked by the engineer who 
did the markup and a "final drawing check" is normally done when the drawings 
are completed to about 90% completion.  Drawings are reviewed by the 
responsible PE; and for significant/ critical structures, the construction 
drawings are independently reviewed by a senior engineer.   
What concerns me is some work I get which is performed by subconsultants or as 
a result of a contractor design (such as a pre-engineered building) - which 
does not appear to have been checked by someone other than the preparer.  
Also, some architectural drawings developed by subconsultants have not 
appeared to have undergone a very detailed review or coordination with the 
structural drawings.  Shouldn't all engineers and all disciplines be held to a 
certain minimum level of quality assurance checking? 
I am also concerned with the fact that our company must sometimes compete with 
engineering firms which may not provide the same level of checking - such that 
the client is not getting the same level of quality.  I'm not familiar with 
our detailed contract language with clients, but shouldn't contracts spell out 
in some detail the level of quality assurance/ checking required so that 
engineers are competing on an equal basis?