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Re: Enercalc's Structural Engineering Library Survey

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I hope that you did not think I was knocking spreadsheets, I love them and
use them daily. My point was that not everyone is as consistent and complete
as you are in the development of your software. Your goal may have been to
create documentation for the intentions of distributing and selling your
I would venture to guess that the majority of spreadsheets used to submit
calc's to the building department are created on the fly and have no
supporting documentation. There is little beta testing since the program is
created in a small office for personal use.
My personal opinion is that if you create a program to do calculations and
you do not clearly show how you arrived at your solution (as you would do by
hand or by programs like MathCad) then that program should not be accepted
for plan review until you can justify your results.
Some plan checkers that I have spoken with indicate that they really don't
look at the calcs that much since this is the responsibility of the
engineer. Instead they look at the drawings to insure that the load paths
are properly attended and that the details clearly indicated how to solve
each of the connections and drags.
This sound tough, but obviously you did this to insure the least amount of
problems within your office. I have done the same with my Equake, but have
not done this with my recently released free-ware to the SEAOC web. Why,
because I was hoping that someone would contribute a series of help files. I
will provide this in the future, but at this time am the only person that
really knows how I derived my output. Still, I do submit these to the
building department all of the the time and they accept them without
I guess it is a question of who assumes liability for the results.

I believe that automated calculations should be as clearly written as hand
calculations and that the building official should not have to waste time
searching for my mistakes.

BTW, thanks for some of your tips in your post. You gave me some idea's as
to how to improve my office productivity.

Dennis Wish PE