Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Re: plan dimension standards

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
seaoc(--nospam--at),Internet writes:
I usually refer all dimension to the architectural plan, except for say,
major column line to line dimension, top of steel elevations.  Why, we
all know that architect always change dimension before we even notice
it.  Just have to update our drawings every so often. I don't see any
choice.  I also incorporate a note in my General note requiring the
contractor to coordinate dimensions in all drawings and bring to my
attention of any discrepencies before proceeding to construction. 
That's my back-up insurance in case I miss something.

I understand your position (and the position of a large part of the list
server), but I can't agree with it.  Please don't take this personal, I only
singled out your letter because it made some comments I think lots of people
agree with, so nothing personal here.

As the design professional, we are responsible for coordinating our
dimensions.  We should not put this responsibility on the contractor.  If
there are discrepancies between the structural drawings and the architectural
drawings it is a breakdown in communication and coordination between the
architect and the engineer and it is not up to the contractor to straighten
us out!!

I prefer to include all dimensions on my drawing that are important to the
structure and the design.  I want everyone who looks at my drawings to know
what I designed it for.  If my dimensions do not match the architects
drawings and the contractor points that out then I do one of two things;
   1.  I go back to the Architect and the Owner and apologize for having poor
drawings and tell them I will do whatever I need to to straighten them out.
    2.  I chew out the architect for changing the dimensions and not telling
me.  It is his responsibility to coordinate any changes he makes with the

If the architect changes dimensions and as a result my design is insufficient
because the span was enlarged, shear increased, etc. and a structural failure
begins to occur, I can point back to my drawing and say "Hey, it was not
designed for that.  Here is the dimension it was designed for".  If I never
included the dimension on the plan and the architect changed it then how is
anybody to know that the design was inadequate?  And how can I justify, in
court if need be, that I designed it correctly?

I realize this is an ideal world situation where the architect and the
consultants fully coordinate their drawings.  But isn't that what the Owner
is paying for?  Do we write clauses in our contracts that state coordination
of all dimensions is the Owners and Contractors responsibility?  NO! 
Therefore lets do the job we are paid to due.  If an architect continually
makes changes on you without telling you then write it in to your contract
about extra service billing for making these changes.  If he still does it
then maybe you shouldn't be working for him because they are a disaster
waiting to happen!  The hardest thing is to turn down work, but if working
for them compromises your integrity as an engineer then maybe you should not
be working for them.

My $0.02


Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.