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Re: STANDARD PRACTICE

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Title: RE: STANDARD PRACTICE
Stan,
 
It sounds like you are saying that there is no beneficial reason to submit
calculation packages.  I disagree. 
 
I recently reviewed a large condominium project in Park City, Utah.  The
snow load was about 110 psf.  The design was completed by one of the
more reputable firms in Salt Lake City.  The roof structure was very
complicated.  From the calculations, it appeared that the EOR had an
in-house review.  During the course of my review, I discovered that many
of the beams in the roof were designed as fully braced, when in fact,
quite a few of them were either partially braced, or unbraced.  Most of
the beams were anywhere from 10% overstressed to 100%.  In my
opinion, I just saved that engineer a major problem.
 
Our firm tries to perform an in-house review of every project.  It's a rare
review that gets by without some comment, or change, no matter how
minor.  When things are checked, performance will improve.
 
By the way, does the wind not blow in Dallas?
 
Dan Goodrich, P.E.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:09 PM
Subject: RE: STANDARD PRACTICE

Gerard wrote:

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.

Gerard:

I don't see anything wrong with relying on the EOR.  After all, he/she is the one doing the heavy lifting and is the one who is ultimately responsible for the adequacy of the structural design.  Does your doctor provide detailed backup on how he/she arrived at your diagnosis?  Does your lawyer provide detailed backup on how he/she arrived at the legal advice that you sought?  Believe it or not, as a licensed engineer, you also are being paid primarily for your judgment.  Your are not being paid to run numbers or draw sketches.  All structural engineers that I know run numbers and draw sketches every day.  It is a necessary step in clearly thinking through a problem and communicating with co-workers.  However, in most jurisdictions east of the Rockies, it is neither necessary nor beneficial to submit those calculation sets for review by anyone outside your office.  To the contrary, I would be concerned with the competence of any structural engineer who might falsely derive any degree of comfort through the calculation submittal and review process.  I would also be concerned with their efficiency.  Good engineering practice has nothing to do with calculation submittals.

Stan Caldwell in Dallas, Texas

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The buck stops here!
 ... Harry S. Truman
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