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Re: higher loads or better details.

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Good point. But higher loads do not always insure a safer building. As we all
know, the members almost never fail, it's the connections that fail.
Therefore, if the connection details aren't precise, especially for non-
typical conditions (remember, contractors are contractors and not engineers,
don't expect their level of knowledge to be equal to yours), the load path has
been compromised. In which case, your higher loads haven't done anything
except cost the owner alot more money with no benefit in return.

I find that a preconstruction (or even a predesign) meeting with the owner,
engineer, contractor, and architect to be very productive. The contractor can
be alerted to unusual conditions and their rationale. Ask for the contractor's
input, you can learn something from the people who actually build our ideas.
If nothing else you can difuse the contractor's famous line to the owner
(usually behind the engineer's back) "I'm not an engineer, but........". This
preconstruction meeting can help lay the ground rules for a smooth project.
Most people in the industry don't want their projects to go sour, it's just
that as human beings (and engineers) we don't always communicate effectively.
That's where the problems start.

Greg Riley PE