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- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: who is an expert?
- From: "Andrew D. Kester" <andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com>
- Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 08:30:38 -0500
(sorry if this posts twice) With all due respect to Gail and everyone out there... >From her posts, she seems to be an expert in concrete. Anything I say here is with all due respect to her, but I too must some of her statements. Our company is not, neither am I, a concrete expert. I don't know if I would call us an "expert" in anything, but we have our strengths and weaknesses. We are always building on that and trying to broaden and diversify our knowledge and experience. We are a small firm that does just about everything 3 stories and less. I would never give advice or take a job involving pre/post stressed concrete, a parking garage, etc. But concrete repair on aging structures is a constant and continuing problem, and local engineers are going to be called upon to come up with econmically viable solutions. Funny thing is, we actually did a repair job on transfer station (two story structure where garbage and recycling trucks dump their stuff to be sorted and hauled), and it was originally designed by Walter P. Moore. It is a gov't owned structure whom we have a continuing contract with. They called us, not our buddy Eric from WPM to fly in from MO. Shoot, our total fee was probably the site visit from them. Are we self proclaimed concrete repair experts? NO, not at all. But it was a pretty straightforward RC structure with excellent drawings from WPM. We thoroughly examined the problem, did a ton of research, and came up with a very conservative solution due to the heavy loads applied daily to this slab. We did not determine the exact cause of the problem (large diagonal cracks that leaked "juice" to the lower story) but had several theories. From all the research we have done it seems that sometimes it is impossible to determine the exact cause and effects of concrete cracking, delaminations, etc. We ended up routing and pressure epoxy sealing the cracks and supplied steel beam framing epoxied and bolted beneath the slab to support the full design loads, a bypass framing system. It was not that expensive, we knew this would solve the problem with a high factor of safety, and will not result in a call back. We, along with the contractor, did state that the cracks may reopen and would require maintenance over the lifetime of the structure. That was over 2 years ago, no calls. So were we wrong? What should we have done? What would YOU have done? The local gov't doesn't have the money to fly Gail or Eric (the original SE company) down and do nuclear testing and so on and so forth. We are not concrete experts, although we have a fair amount of knowledge on the subject. Should we have told them to fly in an expert because we didn't want to buy more books and do the research? Isn't part of the job experience also? Why shouldn't we pick the brains of hundreds of other SEs with similar experiences, telling us what they did, what they would do, what they would not do, things to avoid? I learned from Gail not to use "polyurethane injection for a slab with traffic loading", this is from the internet. BTW, what was her reccomendation? Aren't some repairs difficult for even an expert to determine and solve with 100% satisfaction, thus possibly resulting in a call back or a trial and error process? Isn't the point of research to avoid this? How do you get to be an expert? If I am way off here then let be scolded, but I am confused. I am not sure what we should do then when something comes up WE haven't seen before. Doesn't this happen all of the time? Obviously certain things do require specific experience and knowledge. Like I said, for ex., I would not touch prestressed concrete, I don't know anything about it. I would like to hear other opinions. I say all this with all due respect to Gail, who made a good point, but maybe went overboard or did not explain what exactly she meant, although I THINK I understand. I mean, can I spec repair to a sidewalk or something trivial like that, then work my way up? How do we draw the line? Where can we get the best and latest resources on concrete repair and diagnoses? I have the 1999 ACI Concrete Repair manual, what else? Please, my more experienced SE mentors, clarify this cloudy subject... Andrew D. Kester, EI Structural Engineer ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* *** * Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp * * This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers * Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To * subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to: * * http://www.seaint.org/sealist1.asp * * Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at)seaint.org. Remember, any email you * send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted * without your permission. Make sure you visit our web * site at: http://www.seaint.org ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********
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