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Re: BORPELS and residential room additions

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I agree that we professional engineers are a large part of the problem. If
you follow this thread long enough, you will find out why I feel this way.
We will banter it about quite a while and then it dies with no action being
taken. We will debate, offer opinions, cite personal anecdotes and
otherwise beat it to death but nothing "concrete" (pardon the pun) will

As long as this equation remains unbalanced our risk to reward ratio will
remain excessive. The "unbalance" I am referring to is the enforcement of
the B&P code (in CA anyway) threatens our livelyhood while it also mandates
that we compete with unqualified persons.

If you have any suggestions that would change this situation, I would be
glad to hear them.

Bill Allen

> From: Gregory P. Luth <gluth(--nospam--at)>
> To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
> Subject: RE: BORPELS and residential room additions
> Date: Friday, September 12, 1997 9:09 AM
> I disagree with Bill Allen.  The enemy is us.  When we don't define what 
> constitutes adequate engineering, we leave the door open for BORPELS and 
> the weasels it uses as consultants to define the scope for us.
> I also disagree with Lew.  Why should that engineer "fry" just so we can 
> get rich?  Wouldn't a much more professional response be to collect 
> signatures of professional SE's on a document protesting the BORPELS 
> action.  Negligence is defined as performing professional services in a 
> manner that is inconsistent with the "custom and practice" as define by
> peers of the professional in question.
> If you guys don't think that BORPELS actions are consistent with that 
> definition, take some action.  Don't let your fellow professional swing
> the wind!
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Bill Allen, S.E. @ ALLEN DESIGNS [SMTP:BAllenSE(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Friday, September 12, 1997 3:12 PM
> To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	Re: BORPELS and residential room additions
> This is totally rediculous. It appears that the engineer applied the
> "standard of care" typical for this type of project. I think this
> has identified the enemy and the enemy is BORPELS. After all, it is
> who makes us compete with architects, civil-civils with inadequate
> experience and other unlicensed persons thereby forcing us to to reduce
> fees (and effort) to match those who don't have a clue of what is
> to do a proper job. BORPELS seems very willing to punish those of us who
> are trying to compete in this market but are quite unwilling to eliminate
> those who are technically unqualified to practice structural engineering.
> This is another example of how the risk to reward ratio is extremely
> unbalanced for the structural engineering profession. I think that, if
> BORPELS continue to take this kind of action without tightening up who
> practice structural engineering, it's time for me to get out.
> Regards,
> Bill Allen
> ----------
> > From: HARRISENGR(--nospam--at)
> > To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
> > Subject: BORPELS and residential room additions
> > Date: Thursday, September 11, 1997 8:20 PM
> >
> >      I have been asked by a civil engineer in another county to comment
> on
> > his structural engineering for a 500 SQ. FT. room addition he calc'ed
> > 1987.
> >      There was a complaint ( but no failure type problem ) and BORPELS
> asked
> > one of their technical consultants, who also does litigation work, to
> > comment. The expert SE said the civil engineer should have investigated
> the
> > site, tested the concrete, obtained a soil report, as well as performed
> > structural observation , and since he did not the civil engineer is (
> 1997 )
> > incompetent and BORPELS has offered to settle by allowing the civil
> engineer
> > to give up his license for 4 years.
> >      It was a calc and sketch job for  $450.00 and the were 37 pages of
> calcs
> > and sketches.
> >      I have probably plan checked 3000 room additions, and these calcs
> were
> > above average . I am shocked by what the BORPELS consultant recommends.
> If i
> > did everything he is criticising i would have to charge $3500.00 plus
> another
> > $2000.00 for a soil report and $750. for a concrete testing lab, all
> a
> > calc and sketch job on a 500 sq. ft. room addition!
> >       Am i in left field or do others calc and sketch without a soil
> report (
> > use 1000psf ), not visiting the site ( assume it was built to code ) ,
> and
> > forego structural observation on small room additions.
> >      I would like to know what others include as minimum services for a
> > residential room addition.
> >
> >
> >      Thanks in advance.
> >
> >
> >      Tom Harris , SE
> >      Thousand Oaks, CA
> >
> >