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RE: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough!

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This is a case where the situation needs tightened regulations. The code is
written with a lot of loose verbiage. It also omits some very important
requirements such as the prescriptive tables of headers and beam spans.
It was pointed out by a few others on this list that the code was never
revised to add the acknowledged omissions only because the code is in its
last cycle and will be replaced with the IBC. This means that we will have
to wait until at least 2002 or 3 to adopt the IBC and even then, it still
suffers some of the omissions.

You can not act against the Architect in this instance (if the homes are
allowed to be defined within Conventional framing standards) because he is
simply providing compliance to a prescriptive method.
Because he is an architect or engineer does not automatically back him out
of the CF provisions to force him into Chapter 16 compliance. He has the
right to specify the prescriptive method and place his stamp on the
This is unfortunate. I doubt that any engineer who places his stamp upon a
drawing would do so for Conventional Framed structures - based upon simply
running a few numbers to learn the discrepancies. Therefore, in this case I
don't think it is an issue of overstepping his proven skills.

Mind you, I do agree with Bill Allen on this issue about BORPELS tightening
the requirements for who can practice structural engineering. This is just
not the right example to use.

Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Polhemus
Sent:	Wednesday, May 20, 1998 3:36 PM
To:	'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
Subject:	RE: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough!

IS this a situation that needs "tightened regulations?"  Or is it a case
where the existing regulations are being flouted?

The Democrats say the answer to all their campaign finance abuses is "new,
tougher laws," when in fact the problem isn't with the laws, it is with

Check with BORPELS and see if you can get this person cited.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Allen, S.E. [SMTP:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Wednesday, May 20, 1998 4:00 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Architects Doing Engineering -Enough!

I just got off the telephone with a friend of mine who does architectural
design. Her client, the developer specified the person to do the structural
engineering. Apparently, this person is an architect, but has done
structural engineering for years. This particular project is a 17 house
mini-tract. My friend has gotten the engineering and is pretty shocked by
what she has seen. Mind you, she doesn't know anything about engineering
(nor claims to). All she can do is to compare what she sees and compares it
to the work provided by her "regular" engineer. We discussed the work
briefly and she noticed that there are no hold downs on the entire job (a
few LCBs here and there) as well as 2'-6" shear piers on either side of the
garage openings (with no hold downs). She told me that the developers and
contractors in her area like to use this person because construction costs
are much lower. No doubt. BTW, the project is located in LA County. I
can't/won't get into specifics due to the potential legal issues, but this
is totally absurd. What will it take to get BORPELS to tighten the
regulations on who can do structural engineering (especially in seismic zone

Bill Allen

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