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Re: AISC Certification question

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There are many little "Mom & Pop" type shops out there.  With that said, yes most shops are not AISC certified.
The certification process is fairly rigorous.  A shop has to pretty good to make the grade.  That doesn't mean that a shop isn't good because they are not AISC certified.  There are many very good shops out there, that for some reason decided they have no need to become certified.
I applaud your decision to stick with the AISC certification requirement.  I currently work for a SBR, CBD certified shop and have come across several projects that they have waived the requirement.  After awhile you start to wonder why be AISC certified if no one requires it?
There may be a slight cost premium for an AISC certified shop, but I believe you are guaranteed a somewhat better product from an AISC certified shop. 
On a side note, AISC has changed the categories for certification.
They now have SBD, SBR, CBD, CBR, MB etc.  There are also endorsements for special paints and Fracture critical members.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 11:57 AM
Subject: AISC Certification question

Hi all,
We're receiving resistance from bidders regarding our requirement that steel fabricators must be qualified as an AISC-Certified Plant, Category 1 through the AISC Quality Certification Program.  It seems that most steel fabricators being considered by the bidding G.C.'s don't have this certification.  This project is a two-story steel frame commercial building with exposed steel as a significant part of the building architecture.  We are maintaining this requirement as we feel the need to ensure minimum standards of quality on this project.  We are curious, however, about the economic impact, if any, to the owner in increased fabrication costs for using a certified fabricator as well as other engineers' opinions on when, if not always, to require this certification.  Also, is it typical that most shops don't carry this certification?
Dennis Pradere
MLA Engineering