Dennis wrote, in part . . . .
If anything, we should be offering classes or continuing education credit in
presentation of work.
Going back to the issue of presentation, how do other plan checkers deal
with calculations which are not supported by sufficient commentary or hand
justifications? If it is not an commercial software, are you justified to
ask for sample calculations to show the accuracy of the program? Or, do you
assume that the engineer is responsible for getting the math right and we as
plan reviewer only interested in assuring the detailing is correct?
I think that you have a good idea about presentation. That is something
that seems to be much overlooked in our profession. As a part time plan
reviewer I find it very helpful when an engineer includes in the
calculations a statement regarding design methodology. Most times it is
apparent, but the statement takes the guess out of the intent.
In my own design work as a designer of service station canopies, I found
that many times I would get plan review comments about load paths,
diaphragms, column fixity, etc. Canopies are different from most structures
and these items are not readily apparent to some plan reviewers. I now
include in all of my calculations a single page explaining design
assumptions and methodology including all load paths, etc. I haven't
received one comment since then regarding how canopies work.
Regarding sample calculations. They are tough to get and probably most of
the time are not justified. I go by the level of importance to the overall
design, the completeness of the overall calculations and many times do a
parallel calculation. That is probably easier than trying to get the EOR to
provide something additional to the original calculations. I think that for
the most part it is the responsibility of the engineer to get the math
right. I just try to make sure the results are OK.