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Re: Structural Observation

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The Structural Observation requirements are in Chapter 17, specifically 1702.  Item 5 says "When such observation is specifically required by the building official".  That said, the building department has no obligation to tell you how to perform the actual observation.

To provide guidance, SEAONC developed an excellent document titled "Guidelines for Special Inspection and Structural Observation in Accordance with the 1997 UBC".  It use to be a free download however I think they charge for it know.

Many cities (municipalities) have there own forms and guideline documents.  One source is LARUCP at .  Click on Los Angeles Regional Uniform Code Program, then click on Phase II.  A short ways down you will find three PDF files for guidelines and an actual form you can use.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting


10/11/2002 06:16 AM
Please respond to seaint

        To:        seaint(--nospam--at)
        Subject:        Structural Observation

This has happened to me on numerous occasions.  In residencial projects,
structural site observations is generally not required by the UBC unless it falls under the requirements of Chapter 16 (Na>1, etc... can't remember the exact section).  It
has however been a requirement by some citiy's building official that a site
observation be made (i.e.  City of Dublin, CA) regardless if it is required by the
UBC or not...  That doesn't bother me too much, however... they have always
come back with a questionaire that asks...what structural items do you need
to look at?  It seems to me that if they are the one requiring the structural observations,  shouldn't they be the ones telling us what to look at?