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Re: Fee Information Sharing

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At 01:39 AM 7/5/99 EDT, you wrote:
>Please see my comments embedded in your text:
>In a message dated 7/4/99 11:03:37 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
>viacalx(--nospam--at) writes:
><< I agree with most of what you say about fee-sharing.  However, I thought
> the original problem (for us) started in the 70's with the Justice Dept.
> forcing the ASCE to no longer publish fee as %% of Cost curves.
> Several other thoughts you discussed:
> 1.	Generic details (assuming they work) are good.  Repeatability lowers
> cost, and contractors get used to using them and are generally better at
> building them.  I worked for a firm that did a LOT of tilt-up design
> work and repeated several details on all jobs.  One of the local steel
> fab shops, who sold to many of the tilt-up contractors, would have
> workers fab up panel bottom connectors when work was otherwise slow. 
> They knew the connectors would be used soon when another tilt job came
> along.
>** There are always standard details which represent conventional 
>construction or interpretations of the written code (ie, double plate 
>splices). However, too many engineers rely upon a standards sheet consisting 
>of generic details that they expect covers all conditions - and the majority 
>do not. Either the physical constraints of the design do not allow strict 
>interpretation of the generic detail or the designer assumes that the 
>contractor will know how to work around the physical problems.
>I have seen details sheets of twenty details or more where the engineer has 
>simply crossed out those that he felt were inadequate and left the rest.
>The major problem comes when the detail represents a drag or chord or is to 
>convey an load path. In this case every connection has to be verified so that 
>the correct loads are passed and the straps or materials used have the 
>capacity to transfer the loads.
>I was pretty clear in my post that there are always standard details apply, 
>but in wood framed wood construction where there is a great amount of 
>creativity by the architect, a project can not be adequately represented by 
>generic details.***
> 2.	When the contractors low-bid those retrofit jobs, did their redesign
> figure (and make sense), or not?  If they could design/build for less
> then more power to them.  If they were cutting too many corners, then I
> would expect our profession to discuss the problem w/ local building
> officials and some control mechanism created - like adequate plan check.
>*** The types of tricks used in URM retrofit include the following:
>A design/construct firm is hired (or a contractor that provides engineering 
>under  separate contract). Two sets of drawings are produced - one which 
>represents the actual scope of work and another which represents an excessive 
>overdesign. The design/build firm has a contract that allows the owner to 
>obtain competitive bidding and provides the drawings that are overdesigned. 
>The original design/construct firm low bids to assure that he gets the work, 
>however, his low bid still represents a far greater profit over the well 
>designed set. Of course, the design construct firm gets the contract and 
>proceeds to submit the original set.
>Trick two, An engineer is hired because of his reputation and the owners 
>trust in his ability. The contractor experienced in URM work identified those 
>area's of design that could be eliminated or reduced in scope that will meet 
>code but may not be what the original engineer wanted. The contractor bids 
>the project based upon his redesigned scope of work. The original engineer is 
>out of the picture and the contractor submits the redesign without the owners 
>I've seen every game in the book. This is what killed many good 
>design/construct firms that could not compete with the games. In the end, the 
>owner really only cared to take the low bid and you know that in this game, 
>you get what you paid for.****
> When I look around our society, at the degree of standardization in
> consumer products and drive to lower costs, I'm amazed that more of this
> hasn't crept into our industry.  Mobile homes and metal buildings have
> only scratched the surface.  Should we thank the selling ability of
> architect's for the design diversity out there? 
>*** I can see how in certain types of design there is room for 
>standardization. I don't agree in area's of design such as wood construction 
>where there is a great deal of architectural creativity involved. I 
>specialize in this area and I think that there are approximately twenty of 
>thirty "typical details" per job an closer to sixty specific details required 
>to complete the job. 
>I think we need to be very careful and responsible when we balance our design 
>with a degree of standardization or provide the use of "Typical" type 
>details. There are those that apply and there are those that don't but which 
>are often abused to get the job out the money in.****
> Laurence Oeth, P.E >>
P.O. BOX 2713
SAIPAN, MP 96950
TEL: (670)233-7770/7772
FAX: (670)233-7771
EMAIL:  ssfm(--nospam--at)