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Re: Ethic's Question

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It was really sad to hear the story and its end.

Cheer up and wishing you a better future.


RP Mehrotra

David Gorton wrote:

Thank 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.

Best regards,

David Gorton, PE