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Re: Connections

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A comment indirectly related to the post about the decline in detailing quality.

The same thing has happened in the post-tensioning industry, probably to an even greater degree.

Ten years ago, the  detailers and engineers working for post-tensioning suppliers  had a very good understanding of post-tensioning.  The structural engineer just had to show the tendon profiles and the forces;  the detailer took care of all of the layout.  In many cases,  the post-tensioning design was actually subcontracted to the post-tensioning supplier.

VSL was at that time the major supplier in the US.  What is operating in the US now under the name VSL is simply a franchise,  owned by Structural Preservation Systems.  The "detailers" are drafters that are given a book of rules to follow.  The engineers checking the drawings all graduated from college last year.   

A structural engineer who relies on post-tensioning installation drawings prepared by VSL is probably asking for trouble.  The same may be true for some of the other post-tensioning suppliers; I am most familiar with the problems at VSL, because I get called in as a consultant by the contractor or the owner when things go wrong.

Unfortunately,  the advent of finite element software for post-tensioning design has made it very easy for structural engineers who don't know anything about post-tensioning  to design a post-tensioned building.   These engineers typically can not even read the installation drawings, much less check for errors.

I suppose I should not complain, because I make a lot of money from VSL errors, but it disheartening to see such complete incompetence.

Gail Kelley