I submit that each case will be somewhat different. Either the depth, the
amount of fill, the type of soil, the type of traffic over the top or something
else. (I have seen a backhoe outrigger punch a hole in one of these).Therefore a
review of the design to fit the site is in order along with a fee for the
review. Are they going to require a stamp on each plan?
Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA
Let's say that you design just one septic tank, based
on site-specific geotechnical and seismic data. Your professional
liability would be "X". Now, if your design was subsequently re-used 19
times at virtually identical sites, you total liability would probably be
about 20X. Of course, some of those sites might have substantially
different geotechnical or seismic conditions, and some might have differing
embedment depths. In these cases, your potential liability goes
well beyond 20X. Keep this in mind when you consider your fee
structure. My advice is to keep your fees proportional to your
liability, regardless of the effort that may or may not be required for
Ironically, chain restaurants have at least one
thing in common with septic tanks. The architects and their clients
that dot the landscape with these gastronomical marvels expect to pay the
structural engineer a "full" fee for Store #1 (the prototype), and a token fee
for subsequent re-use (rollouts, or site-adapts). Often, the re-use
fee is as low as $300, even though there are changes in applicable codes,
environmental loadings, and site-specific geotechnical conditions.
Surprisingly, many structural engineers actually compete for these great
"opportunities". I'm not one of them!
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
I've been asked to design the
concrete work for some septic tanks for a local concrete plant. I was
not terribly excited about this request, but the concrete plant made me feel
sorry for them as there are few other people in the area who perform
structural design. My question is whether or not I should request some
type of repeat fee or other (?) related to the reuse of my original
design. Has anybody done a similar design task before, and if so would
you mind sharing with me your contractual concept as presented to your
client. I'm not looking for an actual document, just some feedback as
to whether or not you would request a yearly fee for use of the design in
addition to the initial design. Thanks.