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Shop Drawings

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I am not aware of any UBC or AISC provision that requires shop drawings.
The shop drawing process typically protects the fabricator. By reviewing the
shop drawings the engineer is indicating that the fabricator has correctly
interpreted the design drawings, and if subsequent changes are requested the
fabricator is contractually entitled to compensation.  Since the detailing
department must communicate to the shop floor how to prepare and fabricate
the pieces, shop drawings are a natural part of the fabricators internal
process.  Having the shop drawings approved is simply prudent practice.

On many jobs I will specify that the contractor / fabricator is to submit
shop drawings for approval in the general notes.  Often the shop drawing
requirement is in the specifications.  If either of these is true in your
case the fabricator is in violation of his contract obligations (drawings
and specifications).

If the contractor / fabricator does not submit drawings for approval, and
you see anything that does not meet your design intent during structural
observation, the fabricator will delay the project while he corrects
everything at his own expense.

Personally, I do not see how they can fabricate and erect without some form
of shop and erection drawings (I have received some pretty crude shop
drawings in the past, but artistic quality is not a requirement).  Nor do I
understand why they would not wish to protect themselves through the
approval process.  Without approved shop drawings releasing them for
fabrication, any work performed is entirely at their own risk.

Is the contractor / fabricator intending to fabricate the steel joists
himself?  If so, then this is a completely different ball game.  Since you
did not specify the joist construction in your design drawings, the
fabricator is required to submit drawings and engineering of these items
under UBC section 2221 and

Paul Feather
San Diego, Ca

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian K. Smith <smitheng(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2000 2:07 PM
Subject: RE: Lead time for steel JOISTS

> I just went through the same crap with another contractor.  This guy has a
> buddy that is a steel erector, so he wanted to change the building from
> metal plate trusses to steel joist.  Approximately 95% of the work I do is
> steel bar joist; however, for this particular building in the proposed
> market place, the architect and I thought wood trusses would be a little
> cheaper.  Of course, the contractor could prove his method was better.
> By the way, I am currently in a battle with this guy.  He thinks the
> building is so simple that he can fabricate the building himself, without
> shop drawings.  I about hit the roof when I heard this.  I wrote a five
> letter to the OWNER, but I think it went in one ear and out the other.  I
> have informed eveyone that if shop drawings were not supplied and the
> contractor was not run off, I was pulling myself as the EOR.  The building
> is constructed under the UBC jurisdiction.  Does the UBC have some verbage
> somewhere that would give me a little more leverage with the building
> official.
> Brian K. Smith, P.E.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Polhemus, Bill [mailto:wlpolhemus(--nospam--at)]
> > Sent: Monday, March 06, 2000 10:18 AM
> > To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
> > Subject: RE: Lead time for steel JOISTS
> >
> >
> > I think the real problem is this particular contractor doesn't
> > "do" joists.
> > I know that sounds funny but some of these contractors for specialized
> > markets are this way. These folks for example do a lot of
> > chemical/petrochemical plant work. Not much call for joists there. The
> > building in question is for a chemical research and manufacturing
> > but the facility is located in an office park and looks no different
> > any other "commercial" building there.
> >
> > I think the contractor's comment reflects his desire to have the
> > world work
> > the way he does.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Philip T. Hodge [mailto:phil(--nospam--at)]
> > Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 7:12 PM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> > Subject: Re: Lead time for steel JOISTS
> >
> >
> > Bill:
> >
> > To my knowledge joists do not currently have a long lead time.  As
> > suggested, detailing often is the bottleneck, but even so I don't think
> > lead times are generally bad right now.  If your contractor is having
> > trouble, s/he may need to find a new supplier.  There are several good
> > ones around, if you're having trouble finding one email me privately and
> > I'll give you a recommendation.
> >
> > Phil Hodge
> > phil(--nospam--at)
> >
> >
> >
> >