Cheer up and wishing you a better future.
you all for your responses to my question. I have agonized over my decision
for many months, and only recently, a situation arose to test my way of
thinking. As many of you pointed out, I should be very sure of my way of
thought, and of any code violations. The reason that I called the designed
as mine is I took my engineering judgment to come to solutions that must
be followed to keep the integrity of the design in tacked. I am not talking
about a simple residential construction project, but a multi-million dollar
structure that will, in the end, house 50 residence.
In order to save money on the construction
side of the project, I have developed a system where I utilize the maximum
strength of a wood shear wall, which in turn eliminates the need for sheathing
the exterior of the building. I realize that concentrating the forces in
fewer walls reduced my redundancy, and margin of error, but it also saves
a lot of money on the construction end. In the end, who ever can design
a project that uses the least amount of money for the structure, under
the code minimums, will end up winning the bid.
It is a fine line that I draw, and
one that could easily be crossed not knowing the design perimeters. This
line has been crossed, and I have voiced my concerns. The issue comes to
this: I have provided engineering services with the intent of minimizing
construction cost under the code minimums. The design was modified on the
field without my approval, which in turn, turns out to be a 'critical'
change in the design. After discussing the changes, and the reason for
the change, determined that the architect has no grounds for backing his
decision. (The change came from the contractor not constructing the walls
as designed, and the architect approving what the contractor has provided.)
I could go on and on about this situation,
as the road has many twist and turns. In the end though, I believe the
architect lost faith in my resolve, and was questioning my ability to provide
a cost-effective design. The day after my open discussion with the architect
to determine the grounds for the change, I was fired. The old saying is
true, some days you?re the dog, while other days you?re the hydrant.
Hence, the ethical questions at hand.
Being caught between a rock and a hard place does not mean there are ways
out. Each and every one of you helped by giving me you honest opinion,
and in turn, what action you would have taken. I will be looking for employment
with a respectable engineering firm, which I hope, will value an open dialog
with they?re employees.
David Gorton, PE