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RE: Condition Assessment of Waterfront Structure

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Bill,
 
I assume that by "cursory" you mean visual only.  I have a standard clause for reports that basically says that I can only report on what I see and I was not hired to do a destructive investigation.  I outline the methods used in the investigation and clearly limit the scope to visual only.
 
This may not help you with your proposal but don't let them try to get you to assess something that you can't see and do not inspect.  Somehow people think structural engineers have "x-ray eyes".
 
Jim Persing
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Marczewski [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)bsmstructural.com]
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 10:44 AM
To: SEAINT
Subject: Condition Assessment of Waterfront Structure

I have been asked to provide a proposal for a “cursory” condition assessment of an existing five-story condominium that is supported on concrete piling, and pre-cast concrete hollow core deck panels.  The condition assessment is limited to the sub-structure only (deck, piling, pipes and attachments).  The building was constructed in 1976 and appears to be in relatively good condition based on visual observations, however the existing pre-cast, pre-stressed (?) concrete piling are a real mess with respect to pile layout, round Sonotube concrete extensions at the top of octagonal piles, out-of-plumbness, etc.  The owners have asked me to comment on the condition of pilings, sway braces (batter piles), and report their apparent condition as well as any need for short or long term maintenance.  This building is located along the bank of a large river (Columbia River) and is located within seismic zone 3.  My concern is how much information can I realistically report to them during a “cursory” condition assessment of the piling located below Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) line, and should I make any recommendations for a seismic evaluation of the piling structure during such an assessment?  The structure looks good based on brief, limited visual observation and I understand that “cursory assessments” are very limited in general.  Can somebody comment on how they might proceed in writing the proposal for such a request?  Thanks in advance.

 

Bill S. Marczewski