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RE: Strange but True (SB 828)

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On Saturday, November 01, 1997 7:48 AM, Robert McGhie 
[SMTP:robert0(--nospam--at)] wrote:
> 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.

Dennis Wish reply's;
Robert, Unfortunatly you described the majority of Architects in 
my area who do not admit their limitations and don't consider 
the concerns of the engineering community to be very important 
with residential and small commercial projects. Admittedly, many 
of these architects are Polytechnic graduates who do get an 
adequate amount of knowledge in engineering to be dangerous. I 
say this  because they do not practice in the field and perform 
an apprenticship to gain a practical understanding of the 
engineering field. Nor do they stay abreast of the changes and 
measures that we devote many hours to.
I don't remember running into this type of problem in a large 
city like Los Angeles, but in smaller towns the problems that 
you describe run rampant through the archtiectural community. 
The reason appears to be that the extra money that the architect 
earns for engineering seems to overtake his ethical 
responsibility to know his limitations and not practice in an 
area that he is unfamiliar. This is also justified by his 
personal satisfaction that a Cal-Poly education is enough to 
allow him to do his own calculations to support his 
architectural design.
I've plan checked dozens of high-end custom homes engineered by 
architects and in most cases had to walk then through the 
dangerous mistakes that they made.
None of us are perfect - even our local engineers, however, we 
spend more or our design time devoted to the specifics of 
structural engineering than trying to spread ourselves thin on 
multiple disiplines.

Dennis Wish PE