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RE: whistle blowing

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Title: RE: whistle blowing

Why not ask the other firm about your concerns?  You might make the other guy go postal if you sic the Building Department or State Licensing Investigator on him without trying to resolve it diplomatically or if you tell your mutual client that he is an idiot.

The other firm might have worked out issues at the building department on what needed to be retrofitted and you would prefer more.  In this is the case, what the building department required would be the minimum. Typically as long as you are making something better, that is all the code requires for upgrades if the use is not being changed and there is not an eminent hazard.  I would tread carefully when dealing with building renovations and interpreting the adequacy of someone else's work.

Scott Haan, P.E.
DPW Ft Richardson, AK
phone: 907-384-3161
fax: 907-384-3051

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew D. Kester [mailto:andrew(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 1:31 PM
To: SE Web List (E-mail)
Subject: whistle blowing

Case study:

A project we are working on involves the renovation of a strip mall. Our
client is one of the particular stores in the single story plaza. The other
renovation work is being done by a different architect and engineer.

Limited information is known about the as-built condition, so we were sent
drawings already prepared by the other firms for the rest of the building
for our review, for coordination, and to possible glean some info about the

I noticed several things with their drawings that I feel are incorrect at
the least, just from a casual observance. I informed our Project Arch (in
our office) and he asked me to write a letter outlining my concerns to the
landlord's architect, the PA on the rest of the job who the SE is working
for. First and foremost it is a life safety concern (plus I am worried that
they are doing this type of work and detailing on lots of other structures).
Second, their part of the building design literally starts where ours ends,
so their is some gray area of liability. If they do something to compromise
"our" structure, then we could be sucked into something that we do not want
to be part of.

Now I feel this is an appropriate first step, I do not think construction
has started. If we do not get a response from the other PA in a timely
matter, then we should go to the Bldg Dept, I assume.

Is their anything else I should be doing? Reporting them to the Board of PE?
I hate getting involved in this stuff but they have missed some stuff I
consider basic, and may be considered "negligent" ...  Speaking of which,
where does the law, BPE, usually draw the line between an "oops" and actual
negligence? I guess this is a big gray area.

On the subject, do other states publicize admin charges brought against PEs?
I noticed FL has it on their website. Talk about one website I hope I never
find my name!!!

Any further advice (other  then the sounds stuff I am getting internally)
would be appreciated.


Andrew Kester

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