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Re: Standards for Plan Detail

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Ed Fasula,
     I'm assuming you're firm is a structural engineering design office.  I
am a one-man structural engineering design office and I have an associate
who does all my detailing.  Between the two of us, we have standardized our
drawings with typical details and notes to the point that very little
original detailing is required.  Of course, the foundation and framing plans
must describe the structure to the point that design intent is communicated.
But every nuance does not have to be described in detail; shop drawings
accomplish much of that.  We schedule footings, piers, columns, baseplates,
anchor bolts, and lintels.  We designate steel beams on the framing plans.
Whenever possible, we describe our wants and needs with notes on plan,
rather than details.  For instance, brick ledge elevations are noted on plan
. . . we don't cut a lot of sections to describe them, it's done once with a
"typical" section.
     Having said all that, I don't see how you can describe what you want
without drawing things like Simpson hangers.  The way I handle things like
Simpson hangers is that I've drawn a side elevation view of a typical
hanger, then I stretch it to the size I need for the current detail.  I
certainly don't bother to get it as exact as is possible, unless there is a
need for that exactness.  Generally, there's not a need for that exactness.
     To know how much detail is required, I think one has to ask, "Can it be
built from this?"  If not, add details and note until you can answer in the
affirmative.  Then quit!  If the contractor need further help in
understanding, you can work up specific details later.
Riley Engineering
Blue Grass, Iowa
     Our small firm has fairly recently moved our CAD work in-house.  In the
past, we used a drafter who bid each job, and had a vested interest in
keeping costs low.
     Now that we control the CAD, there seems to be a tendency among
everyone in the office to heap on more and more detail.  In addition, the
drafter we hired is a perfectionist and likes to draw everything - even
Simpson hangers - to exacting detail.
     The degree of detail and multitude of (duplicated) notes is  expensive
and can become, in my view, counter-productive.  I'm in the process of
developing some standards to define where to "draw the line".  And I'm
looking for some references and/or guidelines to help us get it right the
first time.
     Thanks in advance for any help.
Ed Fasula E.I.T