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Re: Design via Internet (India & Mexico)

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In response to Lynn's posting:

I used to work for an International firm in Australia and we sometimes
helped out with some of the structural design and drafting work when some of
our other offices, in Asia or in America, couldn't handle the workload.  It
worked fine.

I also worked for them in London, and the project I worked on for most of
was in America, and the Architect was somewhere else in Europe.  Another job
was in Asia, also with a European Architect.  All of them worked out just
fine.  And I can say this firm works very hard at meeting the Architect's
and Client's needs, because they have done some of the best engineering in
the world, with the most famous Architects.  The project directors and
managers flew back and forth for meetings, and through phone, fax and e-mail
we kept in perfect communication despite language and time zone barriers.
And we dealt with lots of penetrations in shear walls.

Our engineers and draftspersons were able to understand and apply design
codes, drawing standards, and customs in general from other countries.

So in my opinion, geographical spread does not imply inefficient or lower
quality engineering.

Maria I. Falconi
Guayaquil, Ecuador

-----Original Message-----
From: Lynn <lhoward(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 2:55 AM
Subject: Re: Design via Internet (India & Mexico)

>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
>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.