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Re: Fee Information Sharing[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: Fee Information Sharing
- From: "Laurence B. Oeth III" <viacalx(--nospam--at)europa.com>
- Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 09:09:19 -0500
Seaintonln(--nospam--at)aol.com 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)europa.com 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 > approval. > > 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.**** > > Dennis > > > Laurence Oeth, P.E >> > I didn't mean to imply that use of standard details relieves us of our responsibility to properly present the design requirements. I absolutely concur w/ your thoughts on detailing, esp on the load path. My thoughts on standardization apply to designing according to standardized concepts/systems to lower cost but maintain quality. Clearly in one-off creative geometry this is not appropriate...but 95% of the U.S population can't afford that approach (much less the rest of the world). Laurence Oeth, P.E.
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- Re: Fee Information Sharing
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