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Fwd: Re: building code minimums for wood frame

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Lynn Howard Wrote:

>If you want to take significant steps in increasing the quality of
>Structural Engineering, I would suggest the following steps be taken:
 =20
>1.  Require licensed structural engineers to sign structural drawings
>and calculations on all structures, including single family =
residential.

>This would make it much more difficult for people to qualify as a =
person
>who could do structural design.  No more Architects, GeoTechnical,
>Mechanical Engineers, or Civil Engineers doing structural design. =20
>This would not eliminate all sub-standard designs, but it would in my
>opinion, significantly increase the overall quality of structural
>engineering.As a side benefit to those who would still be qualified to =
do this kind
>of work, you can bet that the fees to do this kind of work would go up
>significantly.  Why you ask?  Because we will be tampering with the
>"supply - demand" curve.  We will decrease the supply of people who can
>do this kind of work, and that will result in an increase in the price
>of that service.

This would certainly make it more difficult for some people to qualify =
as a person who could do structural design, despite their qualifications =
to do so.  In the Plain Language Pamphlet of the Professional Engineers =
Act structural engineering constitutes "...the application of =
specialized civil engineering knowledge and experience..."  The same =
pamphlet states that the purpose of the Professional Engineers Act is =
"To safeguard the life, health, property, and public welfare of the =
people of California."  The purpose of the Act is not to provide certain =
individuals with a state-mandated monopoly.  It simply isn't true that =
all Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and Architects who do =
structural engineering are a public hazard.  Incompetance has less to do =
with liscenses and more to do with ability.  You would be hard pressed =
to show that Terzaghi was incapable of designing a steel frame because =
he didn't have an SE stamp.

Bill Allen wrote

>When I originally posed the question, I wasn't trying to propose
>more government regulations or fee fixing. I do think that some
>regulations can be improved. Arizona has much more stringent
>regulations than California with regards to who can do what. For
>example, in every other state where I've applied for reciprocity,
>I've had to get two licenses: Civil and Structural. In Arizona, I
>have "only" a Structural license. That's because I've never done
>anything Civil in my life!!!

This is a fantastic demonstration that registration in a particular area =
of engineering fails to guaruntee that the individual is qualified to =
perform such work.  If it is possible to pass the Civil test and gain =
comity in so many other jurisdictions while being utterly unqualified in =
the discipline, why should we believe that the SE designation is any =
more of a guaruntee?  Perhaps the reason for requiring a Civil =
registration and additional experience requirements for SE's is because =
such work is the "specialized application of civil engineering =
knowledge"?  The California law seems to suggest such.  Having =
specialized knowledge of civil engineering seems to imply that Civil =
Engineering itself contains non-specialized knowledge of structural =
engineering, does it not?  The concept behind the Structural Engineer =
title is sound and I support it, but it would be a mistake to dismiss =
other engineering disciplines as incompetant in the area....they simply =
aren't the experts!  There is as much of a role for all those "other =
guys" named above in structural engineering as there is for physician's =
assistants and RNs in medicine - you simply do NOT need an expert for =
everything!  Requiring an expert to look into every single structural =
engineering project is not in the ultimate interest of the public =
welfare - it's economic waste.

There is a middle ground.  An intermediate structural engineering =
liscense or certificate is needed, along with a review of the "turf" =
which should be the exclusive domain of SEs.  I agree that the current =
deliniation of exclusive SE boundaries is way too broad.  But reserving =
all structural engineering work for SE's is far too constrained.  A =
voice of reason is far less likely to get "pooh poed" than one of =
extremism.  To say "ALL structures are the EXCLUSIVE domain of SE's" is =
simply an exercise of one's ego rather than the one's head.

Regards,

Joe McCormick
jmmcormi(--nospam--at)dnc.net
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From: jmccormi(--nospam--at)dnc.net (Joe McCormick)
To: "'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'" <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
Subject: RE: building code minimums for wood frame
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 00:34:18 -0800
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