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RE: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on Discovery Channel

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Scott,
You need to have more faith in plan checkers. I have plan checked for a
local firm when they are overloaded. I think there is one thing harder than
designing buildings and that is interpreting what another engineer has done
by his calculations and drawings. I think of it as a tremendous puzzle as we
attempt to take a project the engineer has worked on for months and learn as
much as possible about it so as to find potential flaws in a fraction of the
time. While I have been able to find the continuity in the calculations of
most, there are many who are so obscure and disorganized that trying to
interpret their design intent is like finding a straight path through a
labyrinth.
Don't put yourself down - I think Plan Checking is a higher skill than
designing as you need to know as much or more and be able to find the flaws
of engineering logic or the failure to translate the calcs into appropriate
details.

Regards
Dennis

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Haan, Scott M. [mailto:HaanSM(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us]
> Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2001 7:37 AM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: FW: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on Discovery
> Channel
>
>
> Dennis:
>
> Don't have "architect envy". Noone has even watched the show yet
> and people
> are assuming it is about how bad structural engineers suck. I look at it
> like "everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die."  I am not a
> glamour boy or I would not review plans for a living.
>
> Respectfully,
>
> Scott M Haan P.E.
> Plan Review Engineer
> Building Safety Division http://www.muni.org/building
> Development Services Department
> Municipality of Anchorage
> phone:907-343-8183  fax:907-249-7399
> mailto:haansm(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 10:40 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on Discovery
> Channel
>
>
> Architects are the creative lead person in the design process of most
> building structures while engineers are associated to mechanical wonders
> such as bridges or forensic work. The public rarely associates
> engineers for
> anything other than designing seismic resistance into a building and are
> also perceived as working under the umbrella of the Architect who created
> the design.
> Why should Discovery Channel worry about changing the perception
> of how the
> public interprets the roll of structural engineers when the term
> is used, in
> most cases generically. No matter how often - out of fear of
> retribution by
> BORPELS - I correct clients who introduce me as the structural engineer, I
> can not change the perception of the difference between Civil and
> Structural
> Engineer in California. Architects who know what license I posses
> are still
> prone to introduce me as a structural engineer.
> On the other hand, when the Architect informs a homeowner or
> building owner
> that a structural engineer is needed, the owners seem surprised that the
> architect can not provide the services and feel that the engineer
> is needed
> only because it is something very unusual or restricted by local codes. In
> most cases, the public perceives my roll in the design process as simply
> reviewing the architects work, putting my stamp on the architects drawings
> and writing a letter of approval to the building official. When
> he receives
> my contract specifying my fee and scope of work, the owner is
> inevitability
> shocked and prone to believe I am providing much more than is required.
> The point is that the confusion starts within our own community by the
> ambiguity of the title that defines our work (civil verses structural or
> simply professional engineer) and extends to the building official who
> generically calls an architect, civil or structural engineer as a
> "structural engineer" to simplify the explanation to the owners,
> on down to
> the owner whose perception of an engineer is shock that one would be
> required to design a anything other than a bridge or high-rise skyscraper.
> We need to build a good foundation on education and it needs to
> start right
> here in our own community before we reprimand Discover Channels
> programming
> staff.
>
> Dennis S. Wish, PE
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Conrad Guymon [mailto:conrad(--nospam--at)karren.com]
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 12:39 PM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > Subject: Re: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on Discovery
> > Channel
> >
> >
> > I imagine it's some writer who decided that 'engineering brilliance of
> > engineers' didn't read well, and changed it to (incorrectly and
> > much to our
> > chagrin) architects.  Besides that, when do architects build anything?
> > Isn't that the contractors job?
> >
> > Conrad
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
> > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 2:39 PM
> > Subject: RE: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on
> Discovery Channel
> >
> >
> > So what the **** is that all about? And when are we going to be
> > able to get
> > this straight in the minds of the public?
> >
> > William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
> > Polhemus Engineering Company
> > Katy, Texas
> > Phone 281-492-2251
> > Fax 281-492-8203
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Mike Murphy [mailto:mike_murphy(--nospam--at)Ameron-intl.com]
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 3:15 PM
> > To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> > Subject: VCR Alert:"Collapse: Failure by Design" on Discovery Channel
> >
> > Examine the engineering brilliance of architects who built a
> > structure that
> > withstood a 7.5 earthquake. “
> >
> >
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