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RE: Connections

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There is no easy answer to this question, however the
scant attention paid to connections by some SER?s is
mind-boggling ? and I am not just talking about
structural steel connections.

Most SER?s (in my opinion) are not ignoring
connections because of a philosophy that fabricators
each have their own connection detail preferences and
that it?s really in the best interest of the owner to
?delegate? connection design to the fabricator?s
engineer.  Connections are being ignored (by many)
because of unrealistic expectations being placed on
structural engineers for the fees that most are being
paid ? and the problem is getting worse. Add to the
problem of low fees is the pie in the sky notion of
?super fast track? construction ? plain old ?fast
track? is a thing of the past (What will be next ?
super duper fast track).  The definition of super-fast
track is where the SER designs the structural framing
before the architect signs off on column locations and
number of floors.  This is possible because the SER
can easily add floors or move columns merely by
pushing a button or two on the computer.  Heck,
structural engineering offices really shouldn?t need
more than one engineer as long as they have a real
fast computer and the latest whiz-bang engineering
software.

I have a challenge for everyone.  Name ONE major
structural failure where the disaster was not
connection (or detail) related. NAME ONE! ?.and
structural engineers are passing the buck on
connection design?!?! (Yes, I know there are probably
some failures that were not connection related ? but
you get my point.)

I have no problem with SER?s passing on connection
design where the connection capacities can be pulled
out of a table such as standard shear connections
(where beam copes are not severe!!). I have a big
problem with engineers ignoring connections because
?the fabricator?s engineer will design the
connections?.  I think there was a post on SEAINT
about a year ago where an engineer posted a question
something like this ?Please verify that the structural
engineer is not responsible for connection design??  I
didn?t answer the question at the time, but I will
now. Yes, as the SER you are responsible for EVERY
structural connection on the job ? even the ones that
you delegated to another engineer ? even if that other
engineer submitted signed and sealed calculations. If
you are the SER, you are responsible for the design of
the structure and all connections ? period. If you
don't believe me, then see what the courts say when
you have a "connection problem" on a job that you
designed (something I hope to never find out about
first-hand.)

Cliff Schwinger






> On 26 Nov 2003 at 13:03, John P. Riley wrote:
> 
> > What are the thoughts about the EOR leaving all
> structural steel
> > connections, including moment connections, up to
> the fabricator,
> > requiring design by a registered structural
> engineer, of course?  I
> > used to think this was shirking one's duty, but
> I'm in the process of
> > rethinking it.


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