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UBC: Inspection/Observation Programs -Reply

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The State of California mandates which portions of the Uniform Building
Code cities and counties must adopt. Generally speaking, these portions
do not include Chapter 1 or 17 provisions for structural observation and
inspection programs. Each city and county is left to make their own
decisions. 

In Los Angeles, we adopted, amended and expanded the UBC provisions
on structural observation and did not adopt the inspection program of
Chapter 1.  We already have a well-developed  administration chapter
suited to our specific needs and see some problems with the UBC
language on the inspection program.

I believe the inspection program should be a contractual duty of the
design engineer. Special, resident or deputy inspectors should have their
qualifications approved by the engineer of record acting as the owner's
agent. Although  LA Building & Safety has a Materials Control Section
which examines and licenses special inspectors to verify that their
experience exceeds their credentials (ICBO cert., etc), no evaluation
should be  better than or take the place of the design engineer during the
course of construction.

Tim McCormick, P.E.
City of Los Angeles