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Re: How about a private listservice for

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It is not only calcs performed by someone else, but even calcs that you, 
yourself, performed that could become very mysterious.

I first noted that when I was still in school and looked over problems and 
notes from the *previous* semester and wondered what I did.  I have tried to 
annotate my calcs sufficiently so that they would be decipherable, but I 
still find myself wondering what I did when I look over my calcs from 2, 5, 
10, or 20 or more years ago.  The only explanation that I would have is, "I 
had a perfectly logical reason for it at that time."  Usually I have to get 
into the same train of thought I was in when I did the calcs and then the 
reason would quickly come to mind, and what I did would then be "perfectly 

However, I would not be in favor of a separate listservice for plan check 
engineers.  Much of what would be discussed on a separate list would be 
beneficial to the particpants on this list, and if we can make our submittals 
clearer, then they would get thru the plan check process faster, and the 
owner and our client would be happier, which should make us happier.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Thor Tandy wrote:


I agree with you.  While it is often difficult to remember that somewhere,
someone else has to read the calcs, it is important that we remind ourselves
to coordinate our drawings with the arithmetic we are carrying out.  I often
used to complain that the calcs should be able to be read by a third party
with no previous knowledge of the project.  That being said, more than one
text book in this world is grossly guilty of just that!

When I practised in New Zealand I did many structural checks and had the same
comment.  Even doing in-house checking I would find that significant design
judgments made on one or two lines of simple unintelligible calculation.  Try
telling a senior supervisor to clean up his act...?? :-).  It was often
frustrating if I had to assure the design was competent.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: SEConsultant 
  To: seaint(--nospam--at) 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 29, 2000 11:11 PM
  Subject: RE: How about a private listservice for Plan Check Engineers?

  Thanks for the response Ben. I've been doing plan review on a contracted
  bases for almost seven years now. I have to admit that with the enforcement
  of the 97 code it I feel that I have to go back to school. I spent a great
  deal of time developing the spreadsheet software that I donated to SEAOC -
  still, the analysis that I receive from other engineers looks foreign most
  of the time.
  My biggest complaint is that the engineer does not <<