In a message dated 5/17/99 1:21:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
<< Dennis, you seem to have become quite vitriolic as of late. I appreciate
all the good information you have contributed to the list; but even you have
asked some questions, which I as a dumb architect thought, "Gee, doesn't
everybody know that?"
I have also done structural design in additions and remodelings of projects
originally worked on by licensed engineers that didn't come close to meeting
any reasonable interpretation of the code.
A license to do architecture or a license to do engineering doesn't mean
much of anything other than the state thinks you are smart enough to know
The problem with stating an opinion is that it is bound to be interpreted too
narrowly. I sent a post a few hours ago that I think clarifies my position.
There are architects who became engineers, architects who are well qualified
to do engineering and engineers that may have received their registration in
a Crackerjack box.
However, the majority of those who practice are smart enough to know that
they can not maintain a sufficient expertise by spreading themselves to
thinly. I'm not arguing with the Architect who performes the remodel and has
not other responsiblity but to size gravity load members. My experience is
that Architect in my area want to avoid paying an engineer and are willing,
at the expense of the homeowner, to design structural elements for large
custom home and commercial properties. I've plan checked all of the
individuals in my area who do this and have found serious flaws in each of
In most cases, they simply do not keep up with what is current in the code -
structurally. Many believe that they can make a rigid connection with wood at
a foundation by using a mechanical connector.
I'm not generally one who simply returns the work with a broad statement that
they should hire an engineer to do it right. Rather, I've spent a great deal
of time helping them get it correct by explaining what they should have known
and would be expected to know had they taken an engineering exam.
I hope you won't take my comments too narrowly, but I believe they reflect an
opinion that is true for the majority rather than the few who are adequatly
One final question, if the Architect is well qualified to practice
structures, why not simply take the PE exam to prove their capabilites? At
least this provides a minimum level of assurance.