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Re: Maintenance of Records

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seaoc(--nospam--at),Internet writes:
Does anyone have an opinion about how long an office should keep 
different types of records.  That is, how long should we keep such items 
as calculations, shop drawings, record drawings, correspondence files, 
financial records, etc. for each project?  We have recently moved, and 
we're about to drown in our own paper!

If all things were ideal, I would think you should keep them forever.  That
said, let me give an example why.

I worked at one time for a well-know consulting engineering firm in Phila. 
This firm designed Veterans Stadium back in the mid 60's.  In the mid 80's
the Eagles were good (hah!) and making money so they wanted the City to build
them the Penthouse Suites in the stadium.  (Okay, lets not get started on
using tax dollars to enrich the lives of the team owners) HOK got the
architectural contract.  They were not the original architect.  HOK thought
it was best to go back to the original structural engineer because they had
the calculations for the original design, so we got the job, no competition
that I was aware of.  It made sense to hire the original designers for future
modifications.  Lets also remember the bombing of the world trade center. 
Who got the bulk of the work in evaluating the structure?  I believe it was
the original engineer.  Now, granted these are large project and it doesn't
compare to the single family residential design or pre-engineered metal
building which to some of us may be more appropriate.  But the question I
guess you have to ask before you trash something is "how valuable could this
be if I were to get future work to renovate or add to the previous design? 
Then save or trash.

I'm a pack rat.  I save as much as possible.  I would think the proper people
to ask this question to would be your liability insurer.  What do they

Now, what about the request by another engineer to copy your original calcs
so HE can do the renovation project?  Ah, that's another touchy subject!  Any
of you people brass enough to make that request?


Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

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