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Glen, See my comments below:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Glenn Otto []
> Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2001 4:53 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: RE: STANDARD PRACTICE - Late response
> 1.  The only thing plan checkers/ building officials should check on our
> designs is our design criteria input, i.e. wind speed, live loads, seismic
> level, etc.  If our criteria meets the building code, that's it.  Our PE
> seal goes on the contract documents and makes us responsible.  Does the
> building official put his seal on it?  Are they even qualified to
> check our
> calcs?  Did we run a calc on the brick lintel or did you use your
> table you
> developed years ago?  Why bother with an intern period, a licensing test,
> and a seal on a drawing if you can't trust/blame us later?  Calcs and
> drawings should be checked in house where the responsibility and the
> qualifications resides.

The building department isn't there to protect you from your mistakes -
their there to protect the public from your mistakes. While checking calc's
in-house is helpful, there is still the possibility that misinterpretation
of the code is simply perpetuated within the same office. If the code were
so clear, why is there so much debate on this site?
> 2.  If you did calcs, but your building fails anyway, you go to court and
> say "my calcs say it didn't fall", does that mean you're not guilty?

What's your point? Buildings don't fail without reason. The calculations,
whether submitted or not, can identify your understanding (or ignorance) of
the intent of the building code. It doesn't diminish the importance of
detailing and drawings, but can identify problems where you under-designed
critical elements. It can also work to protect you and help construction
defects or hidden site conditions that added to the failure.

> 3.  Emergency room doctors should submit a procedure and basis for their
> diagnosis to the city and to the patient before proceeding.  If we just
> depend on their education, residency, passing the board or
> whatever how can
> we assure against them making a mistake?
> Glenn C. Otto, P.E.
> Virgnia Beach, VA

No! This is why most people go for a second or third opinion. Human beings
are prone to imperfection and you seem to miss this small but potentially
hazardous trait. Many things affect judgment, substance abuse, lack of
sleep, even over-confidence and ego.

> "The opinions of the undersigned do not necessarily reflect those of the
> management."

"I would hope not!">)

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax

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