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Re: plan dimension standards

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Richard Lewis wrote:

>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
>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 the architect changes dimensions and as a
>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
>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 fully concur with these comments.  The structural drawings should show the
dimensions that are critical to the structural design, as well as how to
construct the structural elements.  The '96 BOCA code requires that
"Construction documents shall show the size, section and relative locations
all structural members...".  I would not rely on the architect's drawings to
do this.  By showing the structure dimensions on the structural drawings and
by cross-checking those dimensions with the architect's drawings, it acts as
check that the structural design has been confirmed to match the
layout, as well as helping to resolve potential field problems.  Projects
should be budgeted to do this work.

This relates to one of my pet peeves - how well is the "standard of care"
defined in contracts?  As far as I can tell, not very well at all.
engineers and different industries have different standards of care, and
nowhere is it well defined.  How can we rework engineering contract's to spell

out the quality of the work better?  Then, if an Owner wants to reduce
control to cut costs, it could be clearly spelled out in the contract.