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Re: Economy in Steel - Comments

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At 03:20 PM 02/05/2000 -0500, Mark Gilligan wrote:
>In a recent posting Charles Carter pointed us to an article titled "Economy
>in Steel - A Practical guide" which can be found at 
>In this article it is recommended that the structural engineer:
>"Clearly define responsibilities for non-structural and miscellaneous steel
>items. ...
> Avoid the inclusion of such items in two bids
>by clearly defining who is to provide them."

>This recommendation which is commonly made by the steel industry is at odds
>with the common project General Conditions and exposes the Owner and the
>Engineer to significant potential liability.  The problem is that the
>Construction Documents should NEVER attempt to tell the General Contractor
>that certain work is the responsibility of a specific sub-contractor.

I agree with two of the ideas above:

It makes sense to me that defining which subcontractors provide what
categories of steel items, among other construction components in a project,
is an excellent idea.

Mark Gilligan however makes very sound points that the structural engineer
is the wrong party to be defining roles among the contractors. The same is
true for any design professional. Designers design, and builders build,
including management of construction personnel and processes.

The solution is for each general contractor who is bidding the job to assign
responsibilities among the subcontractors according to his own arrangements
and understandings with them, and to make such assignments definite and
unambiguous. The manner in which this would be carried out is a matter for
the contracting industry to resolve according to its own needs.

The most that the contract documents might undertake is to require
submission by each bidding contractor of a report of his subcontractor's
roles, somewhat akin to submitting shop drawings. But I would hope this
would be seen as a disrespectful hand-holding attempt and as an incursion
into what is none of the design professional's business. 

Charles O. Greenlaw  SE   Sacramento CA