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Charlie Carter: Code re: Detailer practicing engineering

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Charlie,

First of all I would like to say that I do like the
new format of the Code.  I forgot to mention that in
my last post.  My problem is that I am a design
engineer and our company also does steel detailing so
I am seeing both sides of the never ending
"responsibility for connections" issue.

I know that this issue has been discussed in the past
but in light of the new Code, I think it would be good
to reopen the can and let the worms out again.

At the very least, we will get a lot of folks
downloading the latest edition of the Code:)

I note that in the commentary for section 3.1.2 there
is a note that says: "It is not the intent of this
method that the Steel Detailer practice Engineering."

Can you elaborate on the meaning of this?  Does this
mean that as long as the detailer is just selecting
connections from tables, that this is acceptable and
does not require an engineer to be involved (besides
the EOR)?  Or does this mean that the detailer can do
other connection design work but it is not considered
engineering because it is being reviewed by the EOR?
Is there a clear point at which the detailer would be
considered practicing engineering - say sizing plates
for a moment connection?  I am very confused as to
where the line gets drawn (no pun intended). At what
point is this type of work required to be actually
performed by an engineer?  Can a connection that is
not shown on the contract drawings that is not a "pick
it from the tables" connection be drawn by the
detailer without the assistance of an engineer (I
suspect that this is common practice) - Assuming that
the EOR is reviewing it and accepting responsibility
for the structural adequacy of it?

As always, thanks for your insights,
Ken Peoples
Lehigh Valley Technical Associates

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