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- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: Connections
- From: GSKWY(--nospam--at)aol.com
- Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2003 21:36:19 EST
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.
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