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Re: Need help on issue that has been discussed before

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Lynn:

The following paragragh sits next to my desk:

"CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY'S GENERAL OFFICE:  AG Opinion No. 85-208:

A registered engineer retained to investigate the integrity of a building
who determines, based on structural deficiencies in violation of applicable
building standards, that there is an imminent risk of serious injury to the
occupants thereof, and who is advised by the owner that no disclosure or
remedial action is intended and that such that no disclosure or remedial
action is intended and that such determinations are to remain confidential,
has a duty to warn the identifiable occupants, or if not feasible, to
notify the local building officials or other appropriate authority of such
determinations."

These decisions are always tough, because usually you want to be fair to a
fellow engineer and sometimes you think that there has to be something you
missed that will make this building work.  You've already told your client,
but I think that the architect needs to be alerted and if he does nothing,
then the building department.

Neil Moore, S.E.
neil moore and associates

At 05:11 PM 2/11/2002 -0800, Lynn wrote:
>I need help on an issue I know has been addressed
>before, but to be honest I did not pay much attention
>to it because it did not directly effect me at the
>time.
>
>There is a new three story office building being
>constructed, it totals about 50,000 square feet.  The
>first floor, first floor walls, and second floor slab
>is all concrete and concrete block.  The second floor
>concrete slab is about to be placed.  The upper floors
>are wood and steel.
>
>Our office did not do the design for the building, but
>we have been asked by a tenant that is going to occupy
>some of the building to provide structural design for
>their T.I. work.  They have some heavy equipment going
>in, so there is some significant structural work that
>will have to be done in order to accommodate this
>equipment.
>
>The Architect of the building provided us with a
>complete set of plans and structural calculations so we
>could do our work.  Once we got into the plans and
>calculations, it became obvious to us that the Engineer
>of Record for this building did not provide a design
>that conforms to Code.  Many of the Code violations are
>in the area of seismic design.  But some are simply of
>a gravity load type error also.  We did not do a
>detailed review of the plans and specifications, but we
>saw enough to know that we want nothing to do with this
>project.  We have told the tenant that we are not going
>to provide the structural design they have requested,
>and we have told the tenant exactly why.
>
>My question is if we bow out of this project, am I done
>with my professional responsibilities under my capacity
>as a licensed structural engineer in the State of
>California?  I would like to just walk away from this
>whole thing and not get involved any further.  But I
>also want to make sure  I am not walking away from and
>responsibilities that I may have as a licensed
>engineer.
>
>Am I obligated to tell the building owner that I have
>doubts (but not proof) about the adequacy of the
>structural design?  Am I obligated to tell the Building
>department that I have doubts (but not proof) about the
>structural design?
>
>Any thoughts on this issue would be appreciated.
>
>Lynn



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