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I agree with Davis.  I don't believe that we have ever been required to submit design calculations for any public or private building project in Texas (excluding federal work).  In our foreign projects (outside Texas), we always inquire up-front as to whether or not calculations will be a required deliverable.  In those rare occasions when the answer is "yes", such as in our California projects, we raise our fees appropriately.

Perhaps Arlington required Brian to submit calculations because they noticed that he was a foreigner (from Louisiana)!

My personal perspective is that structural engineers provide professional services.  Construction documents (drawings and specifications) are "instruments of service" which are necessary in order to clearly convey our ideas.  They are not a "product".  They are a means to an end, but are not an end in their own right.  Consequently, we provide many services throughout construction.  Design calculations are also a means to an end, but they are not construction documents and are not necessary to convey our ideas.  They are of use only to the engineer who creates them, and to any peers that he/she wants to share them with.

As structural engineers, we are liable for the adequacy of our designs.  We are not liable for the adequacy or beauty of our calculations.  Consequently, both the "quality" of our work and our liability for it are unaffected by such bureaucratic nonsense as formal calculation submittals and plan-checks.

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas

-----Original Message-----
From: Davis Parsons [mailto:dparsons(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 11:06 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

"Brian K. Smith" wrote:

> The City of Baton Rouge in Louisiana requires structural calculations to be
> submitted;
> as does the City of Arlington, Texas.

That's interesting.  We have done over 25 schools in Arlington and have never
submitted calculations. We have never submitted calculations on any of the
commercial or religious facilities either.
Davis G. Parsons II, PE RA AEI
a practical structural engineer
in Fort Worth, Texas

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