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RE: When is an Architect or Engineer Required?

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Chris, 
To add to your comments: I don't believe that the use of the term
"facilities consultant" violates what the board would consider as a
professional engineer. I worked in the Aerospace industry and my job
title was Facilities Engineer - although I was not licensed. We also had
Facilities Architects who were not licensed and this was consider to be
the norm in large companies like Hughes, Northrop, and all of the other
corporations. 

I have a case now which I believe is more relevant to a violation. A
local unlicensed individual has started a business which he advertises
as a Structural Consulting practice. He is trained in structural
engineering but is unlicensed. He does, however, employ or consult with
a professional engineer who reviews and stamps off his work product. He
is not a small office "consultant" as he is designing tract of home that
range closer to one million dollars including work for Sunrise
Corporation.

I am submitting his work to BORPELS as the California Professional Code
and Business Act (I forgot the exact title of the document) clearly
states that the company which uses a business name must have a
professional engineer as an active partner in the firm AND if the name
of the company is that of an individual that individual must be a
licensed engineer. 

On a side note, the California Professional Practice codes does not
require the same practice when an Architect is involved. In other words,
the Architect must be the primary professional in responsible charge,
but does not have to understand or be educated in the structural
engineering profession to stamp off drawings. He/she must is authorized
to stamp of the work of a consultant whether they are licensed or not as
the Architect assumes total responsibility as the professional in
responsible charge. Not until a failure or damage occurs does the
Architect take responsibility for his failure to understand the work of
the consultant he hired and he then becomes responsible to defend
himself from potential liability. This, in my opinion, is
counter-productive to the issue of protecting life safety as it becomes
an after thought rather than the primary intent of the code.

The rules for professional engineers is much more binding and
restrictive than those of Architects. In my prior example, this
non-professional is practicing illegally by using his name as Mr. X  and
Associates, Structural Consultants. Whether the advertising of his
business or the submittal of work with his company name wet sealed by
another engineer is wrong, one of these two will ultimately get him in
trouble. 

As to the quality of the work provided - it is not what I would expect
of a 3/4 million dollar home sold by a well known developer of large
tracts around the US. I am gaining some satisfaction to this as I know
the head of the construction department for this development and have
resigned from a volunteer position on the board of directors of a
non-profit group to train high school students to build homes. This
person is the president of the board of this non-profit organization as
well as head of construction for this expensive gated community of the
well known developer. Our disagreement that led to my resignation from
the non-profit program was based on this individuals lack of concern for
the quality of construction over the amount of profit that his employer
can make. If he was more interested in profits, how can he train high
school students to build quality and understand what makes a well built
home. His argument is that this is a free-enterprise system and his
employer  has a right to make as much profit as the public will bear.
However, he is not aware that the "engineer" he hired (saving money by
starting with the guy moonlighting that led to him leaving his firm and
opening his illegal practice) is designing outside of the laws
pertaining to Business and Professional code and is destine to open a
can of worms in which this "important" president of the board will be
responsible to his employer when the expensive homes he has constructed
are not done according to the law. I'm not sure if after the permits are
issued, the city can require review and approval of his work by an
outside consultant, but I don't think he will have this person to design
for him in the future and the people purchasing new homes designed from
then on, may benefit from a higher quality of work.

Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 9:29 PM
To: ‡
Subject: Re: When is an Architect or Engineer Required?


>What I would like to know is, based on what you have read here, is this

>not an illegal attempt to practice unlicensed engineering or 
>architecture?
I'm assuming this is in Texas. You might want to check the Engineering 
licensing board web site to see if they list disciplinary actions and 
compare what you know with what the board gigs people for. If the Texas 
board doesn't have a web site, maybe you can check some back issues of 
the newsletter. Florida and Minnesota both list disciplinary actions in 
some detail on their respooective web sites.

The term 'facilities consultant' sure smells like an attempt to sound 
like an engineer and stay just clear of an injunction. The term doesn't 
matter, it's what they do, and it sounds like they're going through all 
the motions to pose as engineers.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw



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