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Re: building codes

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I have seen alot of instances where defects were almost entirely due to poor construction practices,  yet the structural engineer's insurance ended up settling on their part of the claim that the engineer did or did not say or do something they were supposed to.

But on the other hand,  I have seen some horrendous designs (mostly in post-tensioning)  where the structural engineer got away with delivering a defect product because in the end it wasn't worth going after them.

The worst cases seem to be condo / retirement home developers.  In these cases, the developer has chosen the structural engineer (based on ?);  the developer is also paying the cost of construction.  They will then turn around and sell the units.  Their profit is the difference between the sales price and the cost of construction.  They are not likely to "spend those few extra dollars as cheap insurance"  because they don't need to - they will only be owning the property for a year or so.

When the purchasers of the units start noticing things like cracks and leaks,  the structural engineer's response is:

1.  All concrete cracks
2.  I have done X (6, 12, 100)  buildings of this type.  I am very experienced.

It is very hard to argue standard of practice.   Or at any rate, it is very hard to prove.

Gail Kelley