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Re: Demo Plans

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Well said Nels.

"The Structural Engineer's responsibility generally is for the completed
structure, and the contractor's responsibility is for the means and methods
of building it.  If his means and methods require structural expertise, the
contractor should employ his own structural engineer.  You should not
the contractor's responsibilities for the means he uses to build the
structure; he certainly will not assume your responsibility for structural
design of the structure.  No one should take on the responsibility that
belongs to another.  Your signature on the demolition drawings could lead
an entangling situation."

In this context I would suggest that the legitimate concern of the building
department is will the structure be a hazard after the demolition is
complete.  Remember at this point they have no guarantee that the
remodeling work will ever be completed.  Towards this end I would suggest
that you:

--Prepare drawings showing the extent of the structural demolition and the
location of new construction that will provide support to the existing
structure.  You need not show details of new construction.  You need not
show location of new construction necessary to support loads that will only
exist after the remodeling is complete, such as for a new story.

--If part of the building being shored will remain in operation during this
work, define the live loads from that occupancy  that contractor will need
to support.

--Prepare specifications requiring contractor to design and provide shoring
until the new construction is implemented.   Specify that this work be
stamped by a professional engineer.

--Provide calculations, to the building department, to justify new openings
that will be provided but which may not need to be reinforced in the
completed structure.

--Notify your client of the  risks associated with extensive delays in
completing the rest of the work.  Also notify him that by having a separate
Contractor complete the project it is possible that it will cost more.

--Obtain a decent fee for this additional effort.

The building department may also want a submission that describes the
nature of the completed project so that they can understand the nature of
the completed project.  A set of schematic or design development drawings
along with a partial set of calculations may be appropriate.  Clearly
indicate that these  documents are for information only and are not to be
used for construction.  

Treat Contractors submittals the same way you would treat them during a
normal project.  In no case should you place your  signature and
professional stamp on the Contractors submittals.

Mark Gilligan

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