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RE: Standard Practice

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Gerard wrote:

According to the "Building Big" television program, LeMessieur stated that he was being interviewed by a college student who was told by his college professor that the columns on the Citicorp Bldg. were "In the wrong place" (not at the corners). This prompted LeMessieur to go back to his calcs after thinking about what the student told him along with his knowledge that the brace connections had been changed from welded connections to bolted connections. Then he discovered the weakness.

Thank you, Gerard.  You have just confirmed what I wrote earlier on this subject, but I was relying entirely on my memory (always a dangerous practice).

Back to the argument, my point is that requiring submittal of calculations has two benefits,

1) is the record of the calculations is on file with the city and/or client - just in case.
If you are a possible future defendant, that is NOT a benefit!

2) It places all engineers on a somewhat level playing field in that they are required to show what they checked (i.e. a minimum standard is established). This prevents Stan Caldwell's competitors of beating his price on a similar project because they decide to do only half the number of calculations as Stan's firm because they are trying to save money. Stan does a thorough design with In-House calcs, his competitor does half the number and uses "judgement" to get the job finished cheaper or faster. If no outside body looks at the calculation package, it's each engineering firms responsibility to police itself. This does little for public safety in my opinion and the client may be getting gouged.
Sorry Gerard, but I don't often compete on the basis of price and whenever I do, I usually find that my price is uncompetitive.  That's okay.  Engineers that compete on the basis of price typically do so because they have no feasible alternative.  It's nearly impossible to accumulate wealth that way.  I prefer to sell based on value, and then to retire fat and happy.
I'm through on this one ....
Me too, I hope ....