Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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

EVAL: Evaluation of existing structure

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I am doing a structural review of a historic building in Texas for a post high
school institute.  The building was constructed in 1871 for a school and has
always been used as an educational facility.  In 1972 the building was closed
and not used until about 2 to 3 years ago.  The owner has started to renovate
it.  Severe damage has occurred to the structure from water penetration and
termites.  Quite a bit of damage was readily visible.

The question I want to pose is the extent of review of the structure I am
responsible to do.  Since I will be issuing a formal report and sealing it I
am responsible to perform the "standard of care" of the industry.  This is
where you all come in.  I want your opinion on whether I am following the
standard of care most any other engineer would follow.

My report documents the damage I was able to observe from water and termites.
 Since there is so much damage by termites (the climbed over 50 feet above
the ground)  I am recommending the owner hire an expert to evaluate the
extent of termite damage to the building.  I do not have that much experience
in termite damage and since termite damage is deceptive I am recommending
they hire an expert familiar with termite damage.

My specific question is "How detailed of a review am I responsible to conduct
regarding the existing structure.  This is my opinion.  Since the Occupancy
Type has not changed since the original design, and since the building has
performed satisfactorily for 125 years under that occupancy, and since the
major part of the renovation will be architectural, there is not a
requirement, per the Building Code, for an in-depth review.  And by an
in-depth review I mean to go out and measure all the floor beams, roof
rafter, columns, decking, etc. and calculate whether they are sufficient to
support current building code loading.  I know if I were to do this it would
not meet current code, there would be connection problems because they most
likely would have notched the ends of beams, and other nightmares like that.

I know a lot of this has to do with the Scope of Work outlined with the
Owner, but in my kind of work we do not always have a well defined Scope of
Work.  I would need to share much more about my kind of work in order for you
to understand.

Anyway, here is my propose solution.  I am going to exclude a detailed formal
review of all structural components in my evaluation report.  Here is the
paragraph I propose to include:

Occupancy Assumption

	<Building Name> was designed as, and has been used as an educational
facility since it was constructed.  <School Name> plan for using the building
is to maintain an educational use occupancy.  The occupancy type has not
changed, therefore the overall building structure is not required to be
evaluated and revised to conform to current building codes, unless a local
jurisdiction requires such review.  This structural evaluation report focuses
on the areas that were readily accessible and visible at the time of the
field observation.  An in-depth review of all the building structure is not
required, and was not performed.

Names of the building and school have been changed to protect the identity of
the innocent!  :o)

I would greatly appreciate any insight you all can give me regarding
"Standard of Care" for the engineering industry
__________________________________________________

Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team
rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org

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