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Release of Calcs.

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Nels,

In the rare instances when I have been asked by a client for my calculations, 
I explain to him/her that it is my practice not to give calcs to the client, 
however, if he/she wants the calculations reviewed by another engineer, then 
I would be happy to provide the calcs directly to that engineer.  Usually, 
that is the end of that.  It shows that I have nothing to hide and have no 
problem having the calcs reviewed by another competent engineer.  If I did 
make an error or mistake in the calcs, I would much rather know about it now, 
than by a phone call in the middle of the night.

I think that we would have a weak leg to stand on if we absolutely refused to 
give the calcs to the client.  The medical profession has to provide a 
patient's medical records, or a copy thereof, to the patient upon request, or 
to forward them to another physician.  I think that we would have to meet the 
same requirements.

When calcs are submitted to the building official, they become public record, 
and *anyone* can look at them as easily as they can look at plans.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Nels Roselund wrote:

>>A client has asked for a copy of my structural calculations.  I never give
my calculations to anyone except the Building Department, as required by
law.

I have had clients to whom I have delivered my calcs and drawings so that
the client could file them with an application for a Building Permit, and
I'm sure some of them have made copies of the calcs while they were in their
hands -- I haven't made a fuss about that since I really don't know.
However, if I explicitly give my calcs to someone, it implies that I think
they have a use for them.

No one has a use for my calcs but me -- they are a partial record, for my
use, of my design and decision making process; they are in shorthand and not
a complete record of my decision making process.  They are not necessarily
precise, or even accurate -- depending on what I feel is called for on a
particular matter.  The calcs are not edited for clarity to be clearly
understood by others.  They are certain to be misinterpreted, and are
subject to misuse.

My client says that he has never had an engineer refuse to give him the
calculations for a project.

What do you think?<<

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