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Fwd: Re: Another Thought from Texas

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rnester(--nospam--at) wrote:

> If this situation weren't difficult enough, the current rage among
corporations is design-build project delivery.  Now we have the principle
> player - the contractor - selecting architects, engineers, testing labs,
> etc.   

> COST.  They know, of course, that the SE can be readily blamed for all
> problems in design, construction, and performance, and at the same time,
> the SE must be responsive to the contractor as the client.   Fast, cheep,
> and not one nickel's worth beyond the Building Codes is the order of the
> day.  

Well, this is another subject I have been thinking about, the whole
design-build issue.  In our area, we find it becoming more and more
popular all the time.  I have a real problem when I am on a project and
not representing the Owner's interest, but rather that of  the
Contractor.  While performing Construction Administration services,
there are many times that perhaps an Engineer may be tempted to let the
Contractor get away with things that the Engineer considers to be poor
quality, but may meet the minimum Code standards.  During design, again
the pressure from your client is to design the cheapest structure
possible, throwing out all "Engineering judgement" issues.

On the other hand, I have found that good Contractors will pick
Engineers that they have worked with in the past that have a high
quality set of construction documents, because they do not want problems
on a project.  They give the Owner a price before the project starts,
and if there are any problems, they usually are not able to pass change
orders on to the Owner.  And if they do try, chances are the Owner will
not hire the Contractor again.

I much prefer to work on a design team that works on behalf of the
Owner.  However, if this design-build method continues to expand, I
really think quality Contractor, who pick a team with quality Design
professionals are the ones that will ulitmately be successful in this


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From: Lynn Howard <lhoward(--nospam--at)>
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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