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Re: plan dimension standards

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I believe the structural plans should include the dimesions required to
build the structural components of the structure.

One big point seems to be missed here... Both the architect and the
engineer are to be a part of a TEAM... I believe both set of plans
should have the dimensions as this shows what we've designed to and what
the architect wants.  If there was a change made by the architect, it is
his job to inform the consultants... just as if we need a larger shear
wall to make the bracing along one line work, we tell the architect. 
Would an engineer dream of increasing the length of a shear wall without
telling the architect?  I hope not... and I hope the architect wouldn't
make changes in the dimensions without notifying the engineer.  I know
it happens.... but when the team fails to communicate, all parties are
responsible.  In addition, I include a note that the contractor shall
verify all dimensions on the structural plans with the architectural
plans and any descrepancies brought to the attention of the architect
and engineer prior to proceeding.  While this isn't an out, if it is
discussed with the contractor at a "pre-construction" meeting, he
becomes part of the team too.  

I make it a practice to ask my clients everytime I get an updated set of
drawings, to verify that no dimensions have changed.  In addition, once
my lines of bearing and lateral bracing are established, I send a print
to the architect stating that these are the critical structural areas of
the building and that I MUST know of any changes in these areas.  If you
let them know that you have an interest in getting it right the first
time and not having to deal with problems in the field, they usually are
quite co-operative.  This type of service gets into to the thread of
fee.   If you don't charge bottom line fees, you can provide the service
and maintain the communication necessary to get the job done right.  In
addition, I'm sure we all have had sets of architectural plans where the
dimensions don't add up or parts of the drawing are not to scale.  While
technically, the listed dimension is to take precident over a scaled
dimension, if there is a discrepancy, it turns on a light that maybe
there is a mistake somewhere.   So it's back to communication again to
figure out what is right.

I vote for taking the responsiblity of dimensioning the structural
plans, and charging the fee to support the time and effort it takes.  
Steve Privett