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RE: "Water in the Hole"
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: "Water in the Hole"
- From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
- Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 17:09:13 -0500
take your last question first:
make a mistake when you believe that "rational decision" is the only ingredient
for the adoption of public laws. I don't care where you are on this big blue
blue ball, politics is king.
case of Texas--as I'm sure that other Texas members of this list, like Brother
Caldwell can attest--the developer and the construction lobbies are very strong.
That's just the way it is. Developers don't want "nosy bureaucrats" breathing
down their necks when they want to build, and contractors don't want to have to
compete on an "unlevel playing field"--meaning that they know themselves better
than anyone else does and they know that for every one of them that abides by
the "rules," there'll be three who WON'T, and will win jobs based on price. This
is another reason that contractor licensure is not required in
we have got to do in this state is what we ALWAYS have to do when "truth,
justice and the American Way" are at issue: Lobby. We have come a long way. We
do for example now have a statewide RESIDENTIAL building code--albeit with no
teeth since it still must be adopted at the local level and the counties
are--again I repeat--EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN BY STATUTE from adopting a building
Still it was a symbolic victory
if only that.
There was a time when we didn't have tort reform of any kind, and where
you as a structural engineer remained "perpetually liable" for anything you had
ever done in your life. As if the practice of engineering and the practice of
murder were somehow morally equivalent. Now, at least, we have a ten-year
limitation of liability. Chugging along, inches at a time as it
have hope, but I'm getting disgusted with the state of things. I am about ready
to propose at the upcoming SEAOT state conference that we "form a committee" to
address the issue of continued construction "malpractice" in our state, with the
aim of pressing for adoption of a statewide building code, and allowing counties
to create enforcement offices to oversee it. I look forward to the day when you
have to have a building permit to build anywhere in the state. Sounds funny
coming from a "Republican," but there are some things that STATE government is
supposed to do, and to me this is one of them.
probably be laughed straight into h*ll, but there you
End of Rant for
Oh, and as per your first question: I have no problem with what the
Geotech proposed, only that he isn't responsible for the piers and ought to have
reminded the contractor of that point. The geotech's concerns are noted, but he
was really operating under faulty information. He was told the holes were "dry"
after they were pumped out, and that wasn't the case. FWIW, his own inspector
told him this was so.
What gets me about the situation is that you are the engineer of
record. What authority does the geotech have to change your design
without your approval? Aren't unforseen conditions supposed to be
reported to the EOR for resolution? Aren't you ultimately responsible
for the safety of the building?
I had a similar problem with some retaining wall footings ecountering
water in the excavation. Contractor called up the geotech who instructed
him to just excavate a little deeper and fill with gravel. I was the
last one to know!
Also, I just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Has
the state of Texas _not_ adopted a statewide building code? I not,
how did they rationalize that decision?
Tripp Howard, P.E.
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