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Re: Strange but True (SB 828)

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At 09:56 PM 10/31/97 -0800, you wrote:
>If you actually believe that our illustrious legislators who oversee the PE
>laws here in CA have the public's best interest at heart by allowing
>architects and civil engineers with very little practical experience to
>stamp and sign structural drawings in seismic zone 4, then I should probably
>request that you submit a urine sample :o)
>
>Regards,
>Bill Allen
>

Bill,

See my post in response to your previous post where I agree with you, our
illustrious legislators don't. Actually urine test are very inaccurate. :-)

In my experience, architects are much less of a problem than civils. The
architects generally seemed to recognize that they lacked the ability to do
the structural design and hired SEs for that work. The problem is not
necessarily with those with limited experience but those who fail to
recognize their limitations and fail to seek help or assistance. The
question is how to address this problem, which is not limited to zone 4.

Limiting structural design in zone 3 & 4 to SEs would eliminate the
incompetent and unprofessional but, in my opinion, paints with too broad of
a brush. It would unjustly eliminate many competent and ethical CEs who do
not take on work beyond their abilities, without assistance and help from
more knowledgeable and experienced engineers. Haven't we all been faced with
situations where we had to solicit assistance and advice from our
colleagues? Isn't that one of the purposes of this list? Why then, should
CEs be treated any different? Even though it would improve the quality of
structural design and thus be in the public's interest, how could such a
proposal be advocated without it appearing as nothing more than a power
grab? We should not forget that SEs in California are also CEs and had to
practice structural engineering as CEs before taking the SE exam. The real
problem is how to test for future unethical or unprofessional behavior. I
for one do not have the answer to this question.

It may be easier to attack the problem from another direction. Instead to
trying to limit the ability to sign plans, specifications and calculations
for the structural design to SEs, a better solution may be to require that
the review and approval of the structural portion of plans and
specifications, by cities and counties, be under the responsible charge of a
SE. The public could be protected without unnecessarily and unreasonably
restricting competent CEs and architects. The problem would then be a
technical one of insuring that the code did not permit inadequate designs.
Would CELSOC support such a proposal? Some how I doubt it.

Robert