Subject: Re: Strange stuff that I don't understand.
From: ad026(--nospam--at)hwcn.org (Paul Ransom)
Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 00:06:29 -0500
> 2. The apparent excessive roof deflection caused by the Architect moving on
> the now constructed roof. The bracing system is a rigid frame composed of 22'
> 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 1/2"
> either side of a fixed reference point with simply his 190 lb weight.
> Appreciate your comments.
> John Ott
I would expect that this Architect would have it in his best interests
to ensure that the building is adequate, regardless of who designed it.
He will lose a customer after they move into the building and have
ongoing problems (cracking plaster, creaking roof, leaks, falling walls,
...). This will cost SOMEBODY some money.
Secondly, are your architects not obligated under the same type of
professional ethics as engineers?
> > The place to turn is not the building official but the state board of
> > licensure.
> I disagree. John has only a "suspicion" that an unsafe situation exists; he
> has no way of knowing how the unsafe situation came about. What if it is
> contractor's error? Has he seen the plans, specs, calcs?
I agree with this, completely.
You may want to have a heart-to-heart with the architect. His anecdotal
description may not be accurate or the roof substructure may be
installed incompletely/incorrectly. Either way it is possible that the
problem is NOT a design issue. It is easy to jump to that conclusion.
If it really IS a design problem then the architect needs to talk with
the designer and have it corrected or suggest that he will report the
situation. It may have been an honest error that has been identified and
can be fixed before anything serious occurs. Unlike you, the architect
has no loss if he never sends work to the other engineer. This way, you
are clear of any issues and have proven your value to your architect
client and he learns a lesson.
Worst case; the insurance may have to pay for some redesign and
retrofit. Now if the design was shoddy and the engineer doesn't have
insurance ... well, the architect learned another lesson.
I see things on a daily basis that look odd to my engineering
sensibilities. I have no knowledge of their design and significant
aspects may be hidden from my view. I have no contractual obligation to
deal with them and therefore no need to do any work for free. I have no
ethical obligation to report my impressions, either.
Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada