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Re: Permit Requirement Question

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I understand the city's concern about the quality of the structural plans if
we just leave different components of the building as deffered submittals.
Like some say, these submittals are sometimes not submitted on time for
review by the Building Engineer and the City Plan Checker  or not submitted
at all. But as long as the City also understands that when parts of the
building are prefabricated or need special design and detailing by other
"experts"(trusses with truss plates, plywood webs, open steel webs, etc.) who
are not willing to provide the calcs and plans unless they get paid or
awarded the construction contract, we shoud be able to meet halfway and  work
on a compromise as long as we both address our concerns. We both want the
building built right.

I remember specifiying a particular brand of prefabricated floor trusses on
my job, one with an ICBO report, a complete catalog with product
specifications, design tables, details, etc. and technical support from
in-house engineers. The contractor submitted shop drawings for a different
brand(which is cheaper), with ICBO Report also, and the only thing that I can
require is that it's deflection be the same as the the product I specified
even if this substitute product deflects within minimum code requirements. I
have no idea about the quality of this product but trusted that as long as it
has an ICBO report, it's OK. I later found out that their quality is not that
good and they eventually went out of bussiness.

If only we as the Engineer of Record require certain guidelines or
specifications for  what is the acceptable quality of prefabricated items and
we can convince the City that we will strongly pursue the proper submittal,
review and approval of these items, then we could get them to work with us.
Some prefabricated manufacturers may think that we are getting too tough on
them, but we are responsible for this building and we dont want an inferior
product in it. This will also discourage engineers who don't care and leave
the responsibility  for quality control under the prefabricated product's

A "Deffered Submitttal" note on the Structural Note sheet with detailed
requirements, acceptance criteria, code conformance, quality control,
manufacturers duties and responsibilities, etc. may do the job. We can even
require Structural Observation on Prefabricated or Deffered Submittal items
to make sure that we or another engineer maintains strict quality control.

This is my opinion on this matter.

Ernie Natividad