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RE: When is an Architect or Engineer Required?

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I thank you all for your responses.

It seems to me that there are two "incriminating" facts here.

First, this isn't just a "residential job." This is a complex of about ten
two-story buildings with from eight to sixteen residential units each. State
law requires an engineer if you have a multiple dwelling with more than
eight units. And the total contract amount was in excess of $600,000
dollars. State law requires an engineer if the project size exceeds $20,000.

Second, they did not just remove the old built-up roof and replace it with
new roofing material. They came in an "scabbed" new, tapered rafters on top
of the existing roof deck and framing, and put down new deck on top of that.
These are structural elements, particularly here where the design wind speed
is 110 mph.

The most egregious thing--at least to me, with my practical mind--is that
the "facility consultant" was supposed to provide construction management,
and they essentially did not. This isn't an "engineering thing," solely, but
it is indicative of the "furtive" nature of their operation, at least to my
mind. They didn't bother going for a construction permit. This is the
contractor's responsibility, normally, but the "consultant" should have seen
to it that the permit was secured, and not allowed the contractor to proceed
without it. Construction permits are required, even for re-roofing.

Why did they not do this? One possible explanation is they didn't want to
call attantion to what they were doing. They wanted to pretend that this was
"just a reroofing job," and leave it at that. The contractor kept insisting
a permit wasn't needed for "re-roofing." Yet if it was "just re-roofing,"
why did the "facility consultant" inform my client that they had to provide
a new, sloped roof in order to comply with the new building code? (And their
advice wasn't even correct as it turned out).

The irony is, the spec the "consultant" put out was actually pretty good--a
lot better than many engineers I have seen. But they didn't enforce their
own bid document, and they didn't follow through with proper construction
management procedures. No Q.A., period.

So there's the letter of the law, and the spirit. Both violated, IMO.

FWIW, I have sent an email to the TBPE compliance office, and included the
bid documents (including the drawings showing the connection detail, etc.) I
have asked them to investigate and determine for themselves if the law was

It's going out on a limb, I know, but I am determined to blow the whistle on
this kind of stuff if ever I find it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 12:43 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: When is an Architect or Engineer Required?

To me, the "fishy" thing is the inclusion of the new
tapered rafters.  Without out that, it would sound like a basic, good ol'
re-roofin' job,...

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