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Plan Check Corrections - Engineers responsibility
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: Plan Check Corrections - Engineers responsibility
- From: "Dennis Wish" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>
- Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 20:35:33 -0700
An architect I have
known for over ten years contacted me a few days ago to help him solve a problem
on a custom home that he designed. The engineer that he used has worked with him
for over 15 years. The home uses Trus-Joist TJI floor joists that cantilever out
to form the balcony at the second floor. He has attached a rim joist and showed
the detail for the sheathing and finish on his plan.
The plan check
agency wants a detail to show how the manufactured glass railing is attached to
the end of the balcony. The Architect showed a conventional lumber balcony
framing and at the end a 4x rim joist. The mullion for the railing was shown to
be bolted down through the center of the beam at some uniform spacing. The
connection is a threaded rod with a plate washer and nut that is recessed into
the rim beam. The balcony framing (whether TJI or 2x) is cantilevered out from
the floor framing. The framing is covered with plywood nailed to the top of the
rim beam and joists. The sheathing is topped with lightweight
The plan checker
asked to show that the beam won't fail when a 200 pound lateral load is
applied at the railing 42" above the deck.
I reviewed his
problem and gave him my opinions;
1. There needs to be
a step down (1 or 1-1/2 inch) from the 2nd floor level to the balcony to prevent
water from flowing back into the house if there is no slope to the balcony
joists (the TJI's are not sloped). This does not seem to be an issue in the TJI
catalogs as it was a few years ago when they had step down joists or cantilevers
designed by extending Microlam's; sawn lumber or Timberstrand joists extended in
the web of the TJI's.
2. I believe that
the sheathing nailed to the top of the beam will prevent rotation in the rim
beam, but I see that if you pull on the railing there would be a possibility
that the connection of the beam to the end of the joists might fail in pull-out
strength of the connection.
3. I suggested he
recommend to his engineer that a Simpson LTT strap be used where the failure is
likely to occur. For safety reasons, I would use on one each joist alternating
between top and bottom so that the rim-beam is tied back to the joists at top
and bottom (where the couple is likely to occur).
His engineer is
refusing to deal with this issue and the architect asked if I would intervene.
If this were conventional construction, I believe I could take care of the
non-compliant portions of the home, but in this case there is an Engineer in
Responsible Charge who is, in my opinion, required to complete the plan check
Can the architect
contact BORPELS to file a complaint against the EOR if a permit can not be
pulled until the corrections are complete? Can the architect hire another
engineer to supply the calculations needed and have the architect wet-stamp the
details and calculations provided to him?
I don't think this
is such a difficult problem and don't understand why the engineer of record will
not complete the design. I've reviewed his drawings and details and other than
the coordination between the architect, who shows conventional sawn lumber, and
the EOR who specifies TJI's, the drawings are light on details, but adequate
compared to what I have seen out here.
Your opinions would
Dennis S. Wish,
Caught in the