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RE: Plan Checking

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(Re-sent)
If engineers were all competent and never made mistakes, then plan checking
would not be a necessity. However, reality is that some engineers do not
produce designs fully in compliance with codes, and mistakes are made in
design or in construction detailing. If full design and drawing checking, as
well as peer review, are required on a project, then I would agree that
"Plan Checking" would be somewhat redundant. I consider some sort of
review/checking by someone other than the preparer to be essential for all
structural engineering. 
In general I agree with Bob Hanson's description of the primary purposes of
plan checking: "... should try to catch gross errors, point to code sections
that may not have been considered, and verify that there is enough
information or quality into the documents to provide life safety and for the
inspector to spot items of importance." I feel that the EOR should have
their own checking system in place and should take responsibility for the
adequacy of the design; the Plan Checker should not need to do detailed
reviews of calculations, etc, unless specific concerns are encountered with
a design. And where there are differences of "opinion" rather than of
explicit code requirements, the EOR should make the final decisions. 
Stan Caldwell wrote: 
	The question should be, why is plan checking necessary anywhere?
When a licensed engineer seals his/her plans, he/she takes full
responsibility for their accuracy and completeness. Formal review by third
parties seems to me to be a perfect example of needless bureaucracy. 

William C. Sherman, PE
Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc.
Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)cdm.com


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