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Re: BORPELS and residential room additions

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I have been quiet lately because of an excess work load but this item
got my attention.
	The total cost for a 500 s.f. addition was probably budgeted at $35,000
to $40,000 which includes about 10% for architecture and engineering
design.
	If the geotechnical and structural engineering cost becomes $5,000 then
the Architect will want to make at least twice that plus add 15% to the
consultants cost for management.  The room addition cost has now been
increased by $12,000+ and the project is probably dead.
	The work the engineer provided is in line with the standard design
services for a small room addition.  Especially in 1987 which was prior
to any agency requiring a structural certification letter from the
project Engineer or Architect.
	If it is the responsibility for the project structural consultant to
provide a soil report as part of his services, then does he become
liable for the quality of that report?  I always recommend that a report
be obtained and point out that with a report I can usually reduce the
size of foundations which is a savings to the owner.  Usually on a room
addition the owner will put the $2,000 in his pocket and have me use the
1000 psf bearing from UBC table 18-1-A.
	I find it interesting that DSA requires the design of portable
classrooms to be based upon a soil bearing value of 1000 psf. so that
the buildings can be put on the school play fields without a soil
report.  They also do not require the engineer to be present during the
installation of the portable buildings.
	I think we all will agree that the ideal consulting services would be
to be paid on a time and material basis for everything that we feel is
needed to provide the best design with economics never considered.  Our
services should never be reviewed with regards to the cost of our
services or the cost to construct what we design.  Has anyone ever
convinced a client to allow this level of service?
	Even if the services provided were the same as those described by the
BORPELS consultant they could find another consultant to state that the
soil report and structural calculations should have had an independent
pier review similar to that done on high rise buildings.  They could
also state that the geotechnical consultant should have provided
continuous observation from start of construction through the pouring of
foundations plus the structural consultant should have provided
continuous observation from pouring of the concrete through the entire
framing of the structure.  None of this is in touch with reality.
	It seems that there must be more involved with this complaint than what
was described.  If not than it will be very hard to find a consultant
who is not at risk when a home owner makes a complaint to BORPELS for
anything they can think of.
	I have not been involved much with BORPELS, but what little I have had
has been fair.  Hope I never have to experience the other side of this
agency.