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Re: Strange stuff that I don't understand.

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You owe it to your client to represent his interests as professionally and
ethically as possible.  If this building is sub-standard his only recourse
at this stage is to identify the problems now and take the necessary steps
to alleviate them. His potential liability in the future is enormous; you
could lose the client simply because he has been litigated out of business.
He is obviously looking to you for some guidance or he would not have
discussed the problem with you.

I would notify the architect in writing that you share his concerns and
suggest he arrange to have a project peer review performed, and then make
any necessary corrections now while the project is still under construction.
He will save considerable expense if the problems are corrected before all
the finish materials are applied.

If the architect is unwilling to confront the issue, (it sounds as if he is
willing) you have a public obligation to express your concerns to the
building officials.

Paul Feather PE
----- Original Message -----
From: <JohnOttCE(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: Strange stuff that I don't understand.

> Paul,
> I do not know if software was used in the design of the building in
> I simply know that whatever method was used does not work. I also know
> the building department has a reputation of not checking the calculations.
> They simply want to make sure that the plans and calculations are stamped
> signed.
> When I run into a situation of a building department that does not really
> check the engineering calculations and details over, it makes me nervous.
> my office we internally check the designs over and attempt to make sure
> all designs are reasonable and that the plans and details reflect
> detailing so that a contractor can adequately construct the structure. It
> would appear that the engineer that designed the structure for the
> building missed doing a careful design and the building department simply
> didn't check it.
> The building was permitted and is currently under construction. It has
what I
> would consider some serious design flaws. I haven't set out to prove that
> then I am not required to check the work of other engineers in the field.
> That is the duty of the design engineer. The building official is the
> of permits and in some cities that I have dealt with do NOT perform a
> check of the design engineer's work. What do I do with the heavy thought
> this building may be designed to less than the Code provisions?
> There are two items that concern me. They are:
> 1. The extremely tall (22' high) vertical walls that are only 8" thick and
> are only anchored at the base to the foundation. [i.e. They are
> out of the foundation] Refer to my original post.
> 2. The apparent excessive roof deflection caused by the Architect moving
> the now constructed roof. The bracing system is a rigid frame composed of
> high W8x?? columns with a much larger beam. It doesn't look right in the
> field, but worse the Architect claimed he could move the roof structure
> either side of a fixed reference point with simply his 190 lb weight.
> Appreciate your comments.
> John Ott