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Residential steel beams

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Does the design of a steel beam in a residence require a registered engineer(or Arch)?

I would think so, but I am running into local code enforcment and plan reviewers who think not.  The county folks will even run the beam themselves on some beam software, of course they are not engineers(or archs).

I am interested in how other communities are approaching this and what can a engineer do to make sure draftsmen and the like are not having their work accepted by local code people.

I spoke to the attorney for the engineer's board here in MD and she said they have never fined anyone for designing steel for a residence but she could not say that is allowed.  Her suggestion was that I should write to the board and approach this issues from a life saftey angle and maybe the board would have something to say.

I think it is quite clear in the R301 section of the IRC that if the structural elements exceed what is spelled out in the code book them it must be design by with "accepted engineering pratice". Does "accepted engineering pratice" mean by a engineer(or arch)?

Does anyone know where the dividing line for engineerings is or is it simply up to local code enforcement?


Jeff Fertich PE,  MD,PA
Gettysburg, PA

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