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Re: Design via Internet (India & Mexico)

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The reasons we would NEVER hire an engineer who was more than a days
drive from our office are:
1.  In the work we do, there is a great deal of face to face interface
with the Architect (hey, can you come over for a few minutes after
lunch, I want to talk to you about penetrations in some of your shear
walls for windows), Mechanical Engineer (hey, can you come over after
lunch, I want to talk to you about penetrations in your shear walls for
duct work), Electrical Engineer (hey, can you come over for a few
minutes after lunch, I want to talk to you about putting my electrical
panels in some of your shear walls), Civil Engineer (hey, can you come
over after lunch, I want to talk to you about this storm drain that is
going right under some of your shear walls), and Contractor (hey, could
you come over after lunch, I want to talk to you about the cost of all
these shear walls).  If you have a GOOD team, they are working together
in close proximity as a tight knit team.

2.  The Structural calculations are a VERY small part of our overall
fee.  Most of our fee involves producing a good set of construction
documents (drawings and specifications).

3.  Having the drafting done outside does not work well even when the
drafter works a few blocks away.  We have tried this.  The Engineer and
Drafter must work closely together to come up with a good set of
construction documents.

4.  Construction administration is not possible if you are thousands of
miles away.  When problems come up in the field, the Owner and
Contractor want the DESIGN ENGINEER (not some flunky who is hired to
stand in for the design engineer) on the site to resolve the problem
immediately.

We have nothing against foreigners as long as they are working for us in
our office.  I would not hire an American Engineer who had his office in
India, or for that matter in Northern California.

It is all about providing your client with a service, and we try and
provide our clients with a hands-on type services, because that seems to
be what they want.  

Lynn