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Fwd: Re: Engineering Issues ad nauseum

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Although Architects are allowed to design and stamp structural drawings, =
most recognize their limitations (and liabilities) in this area and =
avoid it. However, in the more rural area's there are more architects =
with Polytechnic backgrounds that step over the line to maximize their =
fee's. The problem as I see it is that the plan check official usually =
ends up holding their hand through the structural plan check. The =
architect folds in the plan check cycle and provides conformance to the =
checkers "suggestions". Unless the plan checker is persistent enough to =
make the architect prove his work by calculation, a general compromise =
is met and the permit issued. The problem becomes one of the plan =
checker designing the structure.=20
Now remember, the PC'r does not have any real liability in the issue =
(although I heard that this was once challenged in Los Angeles City who =
was held liable when they missed an obvious error in a submitted =
design). The design is never really substantiated since the architect =
ends up using the plan checkers "feel for the materials". Finally, =
everyone fades into the wood work by the time a problem arises. Although =
the name of the architect/engineer of record is maintained by the =
municipality, the drawings are rarely archived and the architect (if he =
is smart) will destroy his drawings after the completion of the project. =
Pinpointing blame becomes an academic issue.
It would be easy to suggest that architects force their fee's high =
enough to allow for an engineer to be hired. This is hardly the case as =
the proverbial "bottom feeders" exist to force prices down. The =
developers and contractors don't particularly care about safety - only =
about the bottom line. Therefore, education is not the answer - =
regulation is the only way to eliminate the architect from having the =
temptation to abuse this power.

Dennis Wish PE


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From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com>
To: "'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'" <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
Subject: RE: Engineering Issues ad nauseum
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 17:56:57 -0700
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org

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