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Re: Conv. Constr. one direction

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At 03:21 PM 7/27/99 -0700, Thor wrote:
>Thank you for such a detailed answer.  I posed the question because, here
in BC (Canada), Engineers who have to submit a Schedule B1 & B2 (which
promises that the engineer will look into everything covered by the
schedule) for any project, or part thereof, have to be careful that their
scope of responsibility is clear to any third party that may become
involved.  We can, by default, become responsible for the entire structure
if we do not pay attention.  

Does your assurance documentation have the same pitfall(s)?
>Thor Tandy  P.Eng  MCSCE
>Victoria BC
Thor, I am not aware of any document, mandatory or volunteered, that is
submitted to a public agency or that goes into the public record, and that
does what you refer to. The basic document that comes into existence when a
project of the type in question starts to enter reality is the building
permit, which is issued by a local city or county, not to the engineer or
architect, but to the contractor or owner -builder, who submits the plans,
specs, calcs, etc., as acquired from design professionals and consultants. 

The basic issue for the building official is whether the building that is to
result from the documents will be in compliance with the code for buildings.
It is not whether the consultants and everybody have correctly danced their
dance with each other according to some script, although some elements of
how people are going to perform during the construction process are
beginning to be part of it, such as special inspection and structural
observation reports.

The only documents delineating roles and responsibilities pre-permit are
private contracts executed between consultants and clients. These are not
submitted to any agency for any purpose, but can be "discovered" by subpoena
or voluntarily entered as evidence in the event of disputes, and then they
have the risks you allude to. 

A further risk is misinterpretation of the meaning of the engineer's
signature and stamp, which in California is required on each drawing page
that has anything the engineer was in responsible charge of designing.
Typically in residential work, the engineer's input is commingled with that
of others on the same sheet, and there's no easy way to distinguish what
feature of design is whose. Even the PE Board turns their own law inside out
and tries to say the stamp's appearance on a sheet creates responsibility
for the designs of others thereon. They ignore another law that prohibits an
engineer posing as being in responsible charge of a design when one wasn't. 

You have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to survive for long in residential work
against the efforts of other, "hired gun" professionals and the PE Board.

I guess your answer is that we have pitfalls that differ somewhat from yours.

Charles O. Greenlaw SE   Sacramento CA