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Re: Steel Detailing Charges

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Mark/Gary-
     As a steel fabricator (not an architect or engineer), I take great
interest in your problem. My company has 5 detailers on staff, and the worst
thing that happens to my detailers is when somebody changes the design after
detailing has begun. It throws off schedules, it disrupts the flow of work,
it can totally negate work previously completed, and it complicates the
entire detailing process.
     At first glance, 8 hours per column does seem high, but you should also
ask yourself when was the change made, and how many connections were
affected. Columns are where "everything happens". These changes may seem
simple to you, but one little change at a baseplate affects everything above
it, and the detailer is ultimately responsible for its' accuracy. T.O.S.
elevations on E drawings, connection elevations, stub dimensions, etc, even
re-running 32 sets of drawings for approval. It all takes time. Also, were
the changes enacted before checking or after? If after, the whole process
needs to begin anew. The timing of these changes is extremely important when
it comes to detailing. If they occur early enough, there should be no cause
for extras at all.
     As you said, your columns were similar, not typical, so theoretically
the changes could not be readily copied from one column to another. How
about the members framing into the columns? Are they all the same size?
Different section depths will have differing stubs which also need to be
changed. All this information must be changed and checked.
     How was this change information disseminated? Was it through one simple
RFI? We had a job recently where there were no fewer than 5 revisions to
100% "for construction drawings". (Not to mention 4 or 5 revisions prior to
100%) No changes were clouded. We had RFI's that had anwers which were
contrary to approvals AND latter drawing revisions. We had RFI's on top of
RFI's. It was a nightmare. When we went to claim hundreds of hours of extra
detailing, we were naturally shot down as well. But the architect didn't
understand how badly he made us chase our tails. To justify one elevation
change through 5 sets of drawing revisions, 3 RFI's, 2 approvals, and
multiple contrary sections and elevations is extremely difficult and time
consuming. Do this time and time again and the hours add up unmercifully. As
a fabricator, we don't want the headache, we just want to get the job done
and move on to the next project. We have other projects with schedules in
the pipeline that need to be tended to. Detailing firms have the same way of
working. (and they can't go down to the detailers union hall and get more
men to make up time) So when all of our time and energy is being burned up
by inadequately conceived design ,somebody beside us should pay for it. We
didn't ask for or cause the changes.  In retrospect, we would have been far
better off waiting for three months for the design to get to "150% for
construction" before beginning detailing. But as usual, it was a "fast
track" project. But I digress....
     Anyway, my people draw, check/change per approval,check, back check,
copy check, and scrub. While this process may seem onerous, it is the only
means of ensuring complete agreement between two pairs of eyes and brains.
Also, too few A/E's understand or accept the cause and effect relationship
which ill timed and perceived "simple" changes bring about. Is 8 hours per
too much? Probably, but again, the context in which the changes were made
must also be brought to light. In the end, to answer your question about
challenging detailers' extras, I think the best way to challenge detailers
is to not make any changes to the design, and if you do have to make
changes, make them as early as possible in the design process.
Thanks-
Jim Land

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Hodgson & Associates" <ghodgson(--nospam--at)vaxxine.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2004 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: Steel Detailing Charges


> Mark,
> As most columns are dimensioned from the base, changing
> the base elevation will affect everything above it.
> However 80 hours seems excessive- I worked in a fab shop
> for 14 years as Manager of Engineering.
> In one claim on one of my jobs (after I went on my own)
> where the detailer claimed 7 hours for an item, I drew
> the item myself. It took one hour and I threw in 1/2 hr
> for checking.  I suggest you try that route.
> Gary
>
>
> On 27 Apr 2004 at 3:46, Mark Gilligan wrote:
>
> > On a recent project there were some changes made during construction
> > and the Contractor has a valid claim for the changes to the steel
> > work.  The problem is that the Steel Detailer's part of the claim
> > appears to be way out of proportion to the amount of work.  As an
> > example, when the elevation of the base plate changes the same amount
> > in 10 similar columns they claim 80 hours.  The detailer justifies
> > this by presenting a list of seventeen steps that they go through in
> > making and checking each change and listing listing the time for each
> > step.  In this manner they justify 8 hours to change one column and
> > then claim they repeat this process for each column.
> >  This approach can create a situation where the size of the claim for
> > relatively simple changes is way out of proportion to the total
> > detailing fee.
> >
> >  We appreciate the need for the steel detailer to work carefully but
> >  we
> > find these hours difficult to justify, to put it mildly.  We would
> > expect that after the first column was revised that the subsequent
> > hours per column would be significantly reduced.  Remember we are
> > changing the elevation of the base plate but leaving the base plate
> > detail alone.  The problem is that challenging these hours appears to
> > be difficult and the detailer tends to be fairly successful with this
> > approach.  I have seen this happen on several projects over the years.
> >
> > Has anybody had success in challenging these claims and identifying
> > the real costs and if so what has your strategy been.
> >
> > Mark Gilligan
> >
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