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Re: European Engineering Standards

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At 21:48 20/04/98 EDT, you wrote:
>Interesting post! I have recently worked on three projects in the EC. The
>approvals that were received on the projects were standard approvals for the
>entire EC. The calculations addressed a standard structure and was submitted
>to an agency in France, checked in France and the approval issued in France
>for the entire EC.

Interesting.  I didn't realise that it was possible to get calculations
approved for the whole EU.  Without knowing more about what the project
actually was, I can't see how one approval in one country could have met
the building regulations in each of the countries - there is no
harmonisation with respect to specific building requirements and each
country has separate, very different requirements.

>All of my calculations were done in Mathcad format. Very neat and of course,
>accurate. However, garbage in always yeilds, garbage out. I did not have any
>comments or corrections and the projects were all approved in rather quick
>fashion. It is rather scary to consider that the French officials might have
>simply been clerks and not engineers. 

I don't know about France, I've never worked there, I referred to the
*English* system.  I've also worked in Germany where the Pruefingenieur is
a very highly qualified professional engineer.  You would have been very
lucky to get anything approved by one of those which wasn't written in
perfect German and calculated to the nth degree!

>The company I worked for submitted the plans (done by them and reviewed by
>together with my calculations. I never spoke to anyone from France so could
>not really know whether they were engineers or clerks. The calculations were
>done in columnar fashion giving standard American units and also metric
>Hard for me to believe that there was not one question, not one remark, not
>one small comment.

And very difficult for me to believe that you actually achieved EU-wide
approval!  Part of what makes me doubt that is that I was recently
approached by another engineer to do some calculations for a standard shelf
angle fixing system which has been approved in both Germany and Holland but
the Local Authorities in England were demanding "suitable" calculations.

>I have only had four other instances of submitting major plans to a local
>jurisdiction in Southern California in my entire career where there were
>absolutely no corrections (Other than sign the application and put the site
>plan on the back of the application). This pushes the number to seven. Now I
>won't sleep too well until I can stop thinking about some French clerk simply
>rubber stamping my work. The implications are not funny. I would rather
have a
>rigorous plan checking procedure, rather than what I expect may not have
>Then again, the calculations were accurate and so ...... why not?

The lack of any enquiry also makes me suspicious.  Just what was it that
you had approved?

Graham Fitch CEng
Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer