In a message dated 5/8/99 2:03:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, NDZ28(--nospam--at)aol.com
<< I'd like to add another item not mentioned previously which is the lack of
training/experience in the '97 code for of most of the plan checkers who
be reviewing our plans. As of now Los Angeles has held several training
sessions and some of the plan checkers have attended the ICBO seminars, but
other municipalities have not done even that much. Is this enough training?
I'm not looking for anyone to look over my work, but I also do not want my
work to be someone else's training ground.
After 22 years of being in this business and countless hours of seminars
studying the code I still feel unsure. At least when I got my first job I
worked under someone's supervision and guidance. This time I'm all alone.
Assuming for the moment that we have a simple two story wood structure,
plans and calculations are provided to comply with "all" the provisions of
the '97 code, what plan checker will have enough experience and training the
first 6-12 months to check these plans and not inundate us with a series of
frivolous corrections. It's not that I am picking on plan checkers; After
reviewing volume 1 of the Seismic Design Manual, I realized that this code
even more confusing than I had previously believed and it makes even less
sense. Unfortunately right now my biggest problem is understanding and
trying to decipher this code.
Lastly I'd like to find out from those of you who do mostly wood structures,
what was the reaction you got form your clients when you told them that your
fees may/will be higher for projects falling under the new code. I know my
workload will go up but I want to see if I can raise my fees accordingly.
Several engineers I talked to had the same response from their long time
clients: We'll get back to you!
Andrew Vidikan P.E. >>
Dennis S. Wish PE
I remember during the City of Los Angeles Earthquake Retrofit in the mid to
late 80's, the new code (the reviision to the Division 88 called RGA 1-91)
was used constantly as a method of debate and learning by plan checkers and
engineers alike. This was one of the best ways for us to understand all of
the provisions of the code and to work out some of the inadequacies.
I would agree that this is going to have a major impact on our clients. I
have not discussed a change in fee's with my clients but I have prepared them
for the changes that will affect their clients. Most are trying to get into
the plan check cycle before July of this year just to circumvent the changes.
I have not heard from Architects who are used to doing their own engineering
but I suspect I'll pick up the work that they no longer feel confident doing.
However, I am already resenting the fact that they will blame our profession
for taking a market or income from their pockets. This is unfortunate -
especially if they knew how many of us were arguing against the code.
I understand Andrew's frustration and I sat in the same seminar last year
where the majority in the room represented building departments. I don't
think there is an easy way to accept this code without going through the pain
of learning to apply it.
Dennis S. Wish PE