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SER = Structural Engineer of Record ... right?

Yes it is his responsibility..... but if the calculation is not on paper, can he be sure the check was performed and if it is correct. I too, assume you guys write out calcs on paper, but maybe not all of you. How confident can you be if your fresh out of college engineer tells you the moment frame is okay without numbers?

Here is an analogy .... when I go to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed on my car, I get this piece of paper telling me what they checked ... washer fluid, tire pressure... etc.... As a client, I want documentation that the service I paid for was indeed performed , verified for adequacy, and made adequate if deemed necessary. If I get home that night, and my radiator blows up because there is no coolant, I go back to Jiffy lube and say "Hey, you said right here that my radiator was filled - what the hell ? "

How can you verify you are getting what you are paying for if you are not presented with the material used to generate the drawings. How do I know I'm getting the most bang for my buck. How do I know that the W24x84 beam you are specifying all over the place could really have been a W16x40 ... ? How do I know you didn't consider wind uplift on your roof truss design? Are all these because you say so? Clients do not check our calcs for the most part. But they usually want a copy for their records just in case.

The lack of a plan check process is bad. The lack of a requirement to submit calculations is worse, in my opinion, because there is no paper trail or any incentive to check to the detail necessary structural elements.

In California, there are a large number of firms producing what I consider crap designs and even crappier drawing packages. I see no reason why these states who do not require plan check and calculations would be any better off. For every Stan Caldwell, I'm sure there are ten yahoos who are just in it to make a buck and spit out bldg. after bldg. with the old "We have been doing this for years and haven't had any problems" BS.

Submitting a calculation package is more likely to produce an efficient and safe design in my opinion. Omitting its need is putting too much faith the EOR.


>>> dparsons(--nospam--at) 06/13/01 12:00PM >>>

Gerard Madden wrote:

> I don't know about the rest of you, but when I go into a public building, I would like to able to assume that someone verified the design for wind loads, gravity loads ... whatever.

Isn't this the responsibility of the SER on the project?

Davis G. Parsons II, PE RA AEI
a practical structural engineer
in Fort Worth, Texas

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