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Fw: Overstamping, Disclaimers and DSA

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I finally got my buddy at DSA to agree to come out of the closet.  His name
is Jeff Enzler, S.E.; he is a senior structural engineer, formal plan
reviewer and no field engineer for the structural safety division of the
Department of the State Architect.  His email address is JEnzler(--nospam--at)dgs.ca.gov
(a new back door into DSA just in case anyone out there has something they
want the Department to know) and the following (partly from a memo he has
written for DSA management on the subject of overstamping) is extracted from
an email he sent and said I could post to the list:

>>It is unclear to me when the "overstamping" statement [DSA authorized
disclaimer] may be used.  It is
>>also unclear what the statement means and how it is to be implemented.
>>
>>An article in a local architect's newsletter says that the statement
>applies to, "...shop drawings, diagrams and calculations for fire alarm
>systems, bleachers, handicap lifts, etc."  The
>>inclusion of "shop drawings" may reflect a general misunderstanding (or at
>>least potential for misunderstanding) in the design community.  DSA does
>not review shop drawings.  For example, truss drawings are generally
>referred
>to as shop drawings.  However, DSA has generally taken the position that
>trusses are an integral part of the structural system and must be
completely
>>detailed on the contract drawings and stamped by the architect, or
>>structural engineer, in general responsible charge of the project.
>
>  Trusses drawings are often "prepared by others."  Would the
>>"Overstamping statement" apply to truss drawings?  I think the design
>>community would assume that it would but DSA staff may think that it does
>not.
>>Could the statement be used for entire relocatable buildings?  Heck, why
>not an entire 200 story skyscraper?
>>
>>Regarding fire alarm systems (or any number of other building
componenets),
>will the inspector receive stamped drawings
>>with enough information to inspect the installation of the fire alarm
>>system?  Or will they receive unstamped drawings along with the
>>"overstamping statement?"  If the latter how will they know if the
>unstamped
>>fire alarm drawings are identical to the ones that were reviewed and
>approved?
>>If changes become necessary how will they be able to tell if changes have
>>been reviewed and approved?  In fact, how would DSA field engineers or
>anyone else be able
>>to tell (unless DSA brought their office record set out to the site for
>>comparison to the inspector's set)?
>>
>>Also, what does the statement mean?  It says, "...examined by me for
design
>>intent..." does that mean that:
> -  the responsible architect (or SE) has done a complete and
>thorough review and is accepting responsibility for the product and for its
>compatibility with the building?
> -  he has only verified that the product is compatible with the
>building and that "others"
>>are responsible for the design of the product itself?
> -  he spent ten minutes making sure that the design loading that he
>specified is printed on the truss drawings somewhere and that the span of
>the trusses will actually make it from one wall all the way across to the
>other?
>>
>>I believe that DSA needs to create an IR or some interpretation of the
>meaning
>>of the statement, and list a sample of building components, products and
>>other things (like bleachers) for which the statement may be used.  Also,
>the statement should be made on the drawings; listing the drawings that the
>statement applies to on a separate piece of paper does not provide enough
>control.  Finally the statement should be revised so that the extent of the
>review and acceptance provided by the design architect is clear.
>
>Jeff Enzler
>
>PS:  The State Architect, Fred Hummel, told me that we cannot "accept" or
>"reject" responsibility for the design of a building or a part of a
>building.  He says that the law states that we ARE responsible and that no
>disclaimer will allow us to avoid that responsibility.  So it doesn't
matter
>what the statement says or how it is implemented; the statement will not
>determine what we are responsible (or liable) for.  The courts will do that
>for us.