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RE: General Structural Notes

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Mark Gilligan wrote:

> My practice is to place the minimum amount in the notes that I have to and
> still comply with the provisions in the building code.  In reality this is
> very little.
> The Construction Specification Institute's Manual of Practice provides a
> good discussion of good practices and of the relationship between drawings
> and specifications.  Part of the problem is that few engineers have
> training in writing specificaitons and as a result they are unfamiliar and
> hence uncomfortable with them.
> Mark Gilligan SE

I agree that the notes should be the minimum necessary. Personally, I find
that the process of working through the specifications together with the
drawings is a useful check to ensure that all items are covered, but covered
once only. This check also highlights inconsistencies in terminology.

Gail S. Kelley wrote:

> I would note that life safety is very definitely not the same thing as
> construction safety.  There is a tendancy to put safety requirement on
> the general notes "to make sure the contractor sees them".  Although the
> intentions are good, what this does is make the Owner liable for safety
> on the job.
> In post-tensioning, the example would be the two requirements:
> 1.  Nobody should stand behind the jack during stressing.
> 2.  Warning signs need to be posted during stressing to keep unauthorized
> personnel out of the area.
> These are OSHA requirements;  the specs should require compliance with
> OSHA.  Under no circumstances should these statements  be in the specs
> or on the plans.
> Gail S. Kelley, P.E.

I agree that specific safety requirements should not be provided. I'm not
even sure that a general statement is required.

There was a discussion in July 2001 titled "Steel OSHA Notes", and I posted
the following:

It's my opinion that notes on a drawing are for the purpose of conveying
technical and technical-administration information only, for example:

To comply with legislation and regulations (eg Professional Statutes and
Building Codes) that require certain information on the drawings, eg purpose
of structure, load capacities, design codes & material standards, etc.

To provide information on decisions taken by the Engineer that the
Contractor would not otherwise know, eg footing capacities, strength of
concrete, etc.

To address administrative issues where the Engineer and the Contractor have
to interact for the project to proceed smoothly, eg shop drawing submittals,
testing, notification for site inspections, etc. ("Submit for review #
copies of shop drawings ## days in advance of ...")

To provide a framework for resolving unexpected conditions, changes,
conflicts, etc. ("Notify Engineer of ...")

Separately from the technical matters that the Engineer is concerned with,
the Contractor is responsible to comply with all kinds of legislation and
regulations, whether or not they are specifically referenced on the drawings
(or in the specs, or wherever). Indeed it is arguable that to call up any
specific regulation or piece of legislation could imply that others are
somehow less important - and that choice would appear to have been made by
the Engineer. Compliance with these regulations, etc, is not an issue for
the particular contract - it is a matter of law.

However, if you really want to say something on this topic it should be very
general, for example:

"The Contractor is responsible for construction procedures, and for
conformance with applicable legislation and regulations."

Peter James

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