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Re: Salary Survey

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A question back to do you define SAFETY?  I consider safety
overall.  Sure, we as structural engineers have the largest impact on
whether or not the building with fall down, etc.  But if the electrical
system is not designed properly people could die.  If the fire safety issue
are not dealt with properly, you could have loss of life (i.e. not enough
exit capacity or fire detection/alarm system doesn't sound or sprinklers
don't work).  I would argue that in a large part of the country (i.e. low
seismic), fire is probably more of a hazzard than collapse of the building
due to poor structural design.

With regards to your question, I would say that the primary goal depends on
who you talk to.  Ask me (a structural engineer) and I would say that
making sure the building doesn't collapse, etc. is my main goal.  However,
to an owner, the primary goal is to get a building that serves their
function and that hopefully looks nice.  Implicit in the owner's goal is to
have a safe building, but that is not their driving reason for having a
building constructed.  If you think about the above, it becomes clear why
architects are typically the lead.  They have a goal that is more in common
with the owner, so they can speak on same level to a certain degree.
Besides, leading a project is usually more about people skills, not
engineering OR architectural skills.


At 05:48 PM 9/30/99 -0600, you wrote:
>As I am fresh out of undergraduate school, I can vouch for this.  I am
>already educating architects with more than 20 years experience what
>they can / can't do with a building.  Like everything else though, there
>is an exception to every rule.  So I repeat my initial question.  Who
>has the largest impact on the SAFETY of a strucutre.  Isn't that the
>primary design goal?
>Jake Watson, E.I.T.
>Salt Lake City, UT