To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: Shop Drawings
From: Mark Gilligan <MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 02:50:31 -0500
The AISC Code of Standard Practice serves two purposes. It defines some
technical criteria such as tolerances and in addition it attempts to define
the commercial relationship between the Fabricator, the General Contractor
and the Owner. It is generally desirable to invoke the technical
provisions as they are written. The problem that I, and others, have is
that the commercial provisions are in direct conflict with the intent of
most General Conditions and they place more liability on the Owner and
hence the Design professional.
>>>The AISC Code of Standard Practice is a standard clause referenced in
Fabricator sub-contract agreements.<<<
This may be but that is an issue between the General and the Fabricator.
Note that the General Conditions used on most projects are very clear that
the Construction Documents do not define how the work is assigned to
sub-contractors nor the nature of their commercial relationship.
>>> Unless the engineer specifically exempts these provisions or specific
parts thereof in the specifications, you will find the Code applies in most
Unless the Code of Standard Practice is referenced in the contract
documents the only way it would be applicable is if it was used to define
what is standard practice in those cases where the Contract is silent or
vague. You are perfectly free to indicate what parts of the Code of
Standard Practice apply to your project.
>>>In what way do you believe the Code of Standard Practice increases the
engineers liability exposure?<<<
Some of the major ways are:
If the Fabricator intentionally or accidentially submits shop drawings that
do not comply with the Contract Documents and if the EOR does not catch the
problem then the Code of Standard Practice would require the Owner to pay
to fix the problem. Note that the General conditions for most projects
place the risk on the Contractor. When the Owner gets the bill he just
might consider asking the EOR to pay it since the EOR had failed to find
the problem and since by invoking the Code of Standard Practice the EOR had
exposed the Owner to a risk that he intended to avoid. This is not an
imaginary situation. I understand the need to be liable for my mistakes
but I have a problem when I am asked to be responsible for mistakes of
others. Is this fair?
When the steel frame is dependent on some other (non-steel) elements for
stability the document requires the drawings to clearly state that it is a
"non-self-supporting" frame and requires that the "...contract documents
must specify the sequence and schedule of placement of such elements...".
This would make the EOR responsible for much of the means and methods of
construction and would in turn make him and the owner responsible for any
safety problems on the construction site. If you do not believe that this
increases your liability you should talk to your insurance company.
Typical construction project General Conditions place this risk on the
>>>Most projects that I have been involved in typically reference the code
in the specifications, but then add a disclaimer that where conflicts arise
that the specifications govern.<<<
If such a disclaimer was not included then the Owner could find that all of
the legal language that he included in the General Conditions and all of
the special reguirements specified by the EOR were void because of some
language in the Code of Standard Practice.
>> In effect, this make the "green book" nothing more than an expensive
The manual of steel construction is still a valuable and useful reference
that I use daily. The design specifications and standards included in the
Manual of Steel Construction are still just as applicable. It is also
important to remember that the Manual of Steel Construction while it may
contain copies of standards is no itself a standard and as such should not
be referenced in project Specifications.
>>>One good questions - How many out there have actually read the code and
tried to understand the questions posed by fabricators in light of what it
says, and not by any other standard? <<<
I have carefully read the Code of Standard Practice and I agree that you
canot ignore the issues that it raises. The only problem is that in some
instances, after careful research, I and others have come to the conclusion
that the document is flawed in some ways.
I believe that I saw an article in the latest copy of ENR that indicated
that AISC will make some modifications to the upcoming update to the Code
of Standard Practice in response to concerns raised by others.
I agree that many have not read the Code of Standard Practice, becaue why
else would they reference a document in the project Specifications that
increases their liability for no real reason.
>>> How many Architects and Engineers out there understand that the code is
the only industry standard reference that we have to go by?<<<
The Code of Standard Practice is a useful reference but we have to use all
references intelegently and we need to feel free to take another approach