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Plan Checkers Responsibilites -Reply

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Just as there are many private engineers with varying degree of  ability
and personality making judgements based on personal experience, it
should be expected that there will be many plan check engineers with
varying degree of ability and personality also making judgements based
on their personal experience.

>>> Jeff Smith <smthengr(--nospam--at)> 12/19/97 10:45am >>>
The other day I submitted some structural plans for a sesimic upgrade of
the ground floor of a three story wood framed residential building. I
through the project with the plan checker at the counter, he did a
review of the calcs for proper lateral coeficient, reviewed the plans and
details,  special inspection requirements,  etc. I received an over the
counter approval after several hours at the building department. I have
done this before on a few other jobs that did not have planning
department/handicap/fire/occupancy/etc issues. I explained this to an
architect colleague and he was shocked, implying that the plan checker
could not adequatley plan check this type of project over the counter.

Can anyone tell me if there is a uniform requirement for plan checkers
responsibilites?  Is it up the the local building department to develop
plan check standards? Is it the plan checkers responsibilty to check
line of every calc.If a plan checker knows that a certain engineer is
consistantly bringing in either sloppy work or very good work, are likely
to to adjust the rigor of the plan check? It is clear to me that a plan
checkers approach to plan checking is as varied as their personalities. 

Jeff Smith. S.E.
phone: (415) 543-8651
fax: (415) 543-8679
email: smthengr(--nospam--at)

Smith Engineering
27 South Park
San Francisco, CA 94107