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Re: EJCDC Documents (OR: What's The Point Of Even Joining ASCE?)

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Bill,

I will first second Stan's recommendation. Take a look at the CASE
contracts.  While I am not yet familiar with them (haven't sat down to
read them yet...been too busy enjoying my "sabatical"), they are
definitely more "cost efficient" than the EJCDC documents through ASCE.

One thing to keep in mind about the EJCDC documents, there is no real
reason to purchase the full set that I can see...many of those
contracts/documents will likely never be used by you or me, so why buy
all.  I have bought some, but only the ones that I think that I might use.

Now regarding membership in ASCE, I will start off by saying that to me it
is typically something that is a personal choice that one will have to
"agonize" over.  I will again take the easy road and more less agree with
someone else...Gerard in this case...to a certain degree.  To me,
membership is such organizations (and I mean both professional
organizations such as ASCE and the various SEAs and technical
organizations such as ACI and AISC) is more about giving back to my
profession.  In return, I do get some direct benefits (access to lower
priced insurance, discounts on publications, some included publications
such as newsletters and magazines, etc) and some indirect benefits
(knowledge about how the professional maybe changing such as ASCE's push
for the Masters degree as the first professional degree, opportunities to
affect/be involved with those changes, opportunities to network, etc).  I
realize that it does not really make sense that I have to pay close to
$200 to be able to "give back", but then it does take money for these
organizations to run.

To me, the point is that if you are strictly considering whether to be a
member based upon the direct benefits (i.e. included magazines or
journals, etc) that you get, then you are likely never going to recoup
your dues amount unless you buy a lot of publications from the group at
the member discount price.

As a side note, your membership is providing a benefit if you do decide
that you absolutely need the EJCDC contracts...because without an ASCE
membership you would be paying $1000 for the whole set not $500...thus,
your membership is "saving" you $500 which is basically about 2 1/2 years
worth of ASCE dues.

The end result is that if you aren't in a position to participate in the
organization (you are to busy doing your work so that you can pay your
bills...very reasonable and understandable), then maybe you should
consider terminating your membership.  For me, I enjoy being involved with
ASCE at the local level.  Sure, ASCE is aimed more at general civil rather
than structural, but then I enjoy being treasurer and webmaster for the
local branch and I also enjoy the opportunity to interact with the U of M
students as the local branch's liaison/praction advisor to the student
chapter.  Thus, I consider it worth the $200 or so even though on paper it
would probably be seen as a waste of money.

I do have to say that I do encourge people to be involved in some way.
Being involved with such organizations allows you to stay aware of what is
happening in the profession outside of your own little office.  I have to
admit that I tend to believe for the most part that if you are unaware of
some change to a code or the profession in general, then you only have
yourself to blame (although I do believe that many organizations are to
insular and don't do a good enough job of getting information out to those
beside their members on things like changes to code documents that they
produce but everyone uses).  OK, enough of my soap box for now.

BTW, I am also a member of NSPE and I consider that much more of a
"waste" than ASCE, but I still derive enough benefit from it that I am
maintaining that membership for now.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Fri, 6 Sep 2002, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> I am trying to revamp some aspects of my consulting business, especially
> liability and contract issues. It's too easy to be lax about this, and now
> I've been stiffed on some fees--not much, but it wouldn't have happened had
> I been a bit more "anal-retentive" about signed agreements before proceeding
> with work.
>
> I've been using some documents that I'd brought with me from my last "real"
> job, but they really aren't satisfactory.
>
> Well, I just kind of figured that ASCE would have the Engineers Joint
> Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) standards on their website for members
> to download. After all, ASCE is a charter member of that committee, which
> was created to help povide us with better contract documents, right? Sounds
> like a core mission for an  org like ASCE, right?
>
> Well, they have the documents, and I can have them, too--if I pay them $500.
>
> Sorry, but that is just COMPLETE BULL****! About the only good I can see
> coming out of ASCE is that you get their little magazine--which is geared
> almost exclusively for civils--and occasionally a structural journal (great,
> unless you don't happen to be an academic).
>
> Other than that, the organization is totally worthless. If they can't use a
> bit of my money to maintain electronic downloads of these standard
> documents, then I'm not sure why the h*** I keep sending 'em that money
> every year!
>
> Comments?
>
>
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