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Re: Architectural Low Rise Projects (Lateral Stability)

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Unfortunately, there seems to be more than a few engineers who prostitute
themselves because they are willing to half-ass a design under the pretense of
being more economical.  Maybe this is a reason why structural engineers are not
seen in the light that we should be.  To compound that, there is the old
response from builders that, "Well we've done this for (insert exaggerated time
span here) years without any problems" that begs the response, "Well, you've
been doing it wrong for that long, consider yourself lucky, if you haven't
already been involved in some lawsuits."  The same goes with a few architects.
I'm generalizing, but it seems there are some that consider what we do a
necessary evil in the design process.  While I don't want to undermine the
importance of what mechanical or electrical engineers do, I would bet that any
flaws in their designs will rarely cause a building to collapse.  And yet they
seem to command higher fees.  I invite any responses to the contrary, as I
realize this is limited to personal experience and may not be true in a larger
sense.  This is getting kinda long, even though I'm agreeing with what Bill
wrote and this is probably preaching to the choir, but the responses from
architects on this post have only reinforced my thoughts on how our profession
is viewed not only by laymen, but those who deal with us on a regular basis.

Maybe we should add an "R.D." to the "P.E.", in reference to Rodney and in
front of the P.E., to avoid the obvious joke,
Mark Nowmos

Bill Polhemus wrote:

>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Regis King [mailto:steelfishes(--nospam--at)hotmail.com]
> > Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 2:03 PM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > Subject: RE: Architectural Low Rise Projects (Lateral Stability)
> >
> >
> > As a general observation, some of the architects who believe they
> > know more
> > about engineering than the engineers do can be some of the worst to work
> > with.
>
> In my experience, the problem isn't that architects tend to think they "know
> more about engineering than engineers do," but that they don't see a problem
> where we do.
>
> To some of them--by no means all, or even most--we are being unnecessarily
> cautious, picky, conservative and/or belaboring when we go into "too much
> detail" about how something ought to be done, especially when it involves
> changing things.
>
> Many production architects (that is, those who are in the "head 'em up and
> move 'em out" mode) have the attitude, whether it is expressed or not, that
> "well, I've seen engineers who are just fine with what you think is a
> problem, and I'm going to favor the easier/cheaper/faster solution."
>
> FWIW, I've had homeowners do the same thing (with help from their home
> builders who, having already signed the contract, are looking for ways to do
> it easier/cheaper/faster, even if it means doing it WRONG.
>
> William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas
> Phone 281-492-2251
> Fax 281-492-8203
>
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