Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

engineers and single family houses

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
In reply to Kevin McCune's message:

Unfortunately, Arizona does not require residences to be designed by a
registrant.  ARS 32-144 states,

"Exemptions and limitations

A.  Architecture, engineering, geology, assaying, landscape
architecture or land surveying may be practiced without compliance
with the requirements of this chapter by:
3.  A nonregistrant who designs, alters or adds to a detached single
family residence."

Therefore, even a "Bill Gates" type house in Arizona is not required
to be designed by a registrant, however, building officials frequently
invoke Section 106.3.2 of the UBC (1994) which states, "... The
building official may require plans, computations and specifications
to be prepared and designed by an engineer or architect licensed by
the state to practice as such even if not required by state law."

Tract houses built by developers are generally designed by architects,
however, important structural details are generally absent.

Custom, or semi-custom, residences built by builders are generally
designed by either the builder or a drafter ("building designer"). 
The title block generally does not show who the designer was.

"Spec" houses, stated to be "owner occupied" on the building permit,
are generally designed by the owner/builder.

Inspection of residences is conducted by the jurisdictions, sometimes
being just a drive-by or a walk up to where the inspection card is
kept.  I have seen residences where hip rafters on porch roofs are
just leaning up against a wall, and had not been rejected by the
jurisdiction inspector.

One builder, many years ago, had plans showing reinforcing in the
floor slab.  When the jurisdiction inspector checked, the reinforcing
was there; when the inspector left, the reinforcing was picked up and
moved to the house next door.  The end result being that the only
house with reinforcing in the slab was the last house in the
sub-division with that footprint.

A point of interest to those in states with separate boards for
architects and engineers is that Arizona's board is responsible for
licensing both (and others), thus eliminating many conflicts as to
turf.  Arizona's board requires that two of the three engineer members
be in a branch other than civil engineering, with one generally being
a Structural Engineer.  There are two architects on the nine member

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona