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RE: Interesting Disclaimer

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> "The use of REPRODUCTIONS of these contract drawings by any
> contractor, subcontractor, erector, fabricator or material
> supplier in lieu of preparation of shop drawings signifies
> his acceptance of all information shown hereon as correct,
> and obligates himself to any job expense, real or implied,
> arising due to any errors that may occur hereon."

The general consensus of responses so far is that this statement, while
poorly worded, is legitimate and acceptable for inclusion on design
drawings.  The inference being that the purpose of the design drawings is to
only show design intent, and that they only need enough accuracy for this
purpose.  It is then the contractor's responsibility to prepare fabrication
and erection drawings for the purposes of fabrication and erection.

Additional arguments in favor of this: 
1. The shop-drawing process provides an additional "check" of the design
drawings to catch fit-up discrepancies prior to fabrication.  
2. Our electronic drawings are our intellectual property; if the contractor
wants electronic drawings, he needs to generate his own from our prints. 
3. We're being paid to analyze the structure and size the beams -- not
provide detailed erection drawings for the contractor. (this last one is a
favorite of my boss)

I agree with the first argument, and agree in relation to current business
practices with the second two.  My company, for example, is not getting paid
enough (in general) to provide the level of detail required for our drawings
to be used as erection drawings.  Also, the fabricator should always
generate complete fabrication drawings from scratch.  

However, I believe that the owner should not have to pay two people to draw
what is basically the same picture of his building: floor plans and erection

A better way (IMHO) is to pay the engineer enough to be able to provide
adequate precision and accuracy on the design drawings (for example, all
lines are in the correct places and on the correct layers).  The fabricator
can then use them as a backbone for his erection drawings, filling in
information as required (piece marks, for example).  He should also greatly
reduce his shop drawing fee.  Finally, the original contact should include
who retains "ownership" of the intellectual property (drawings).  

If the owner/architect wants to do things the "traditional" way, that's also
fine.  State this clearly in the contract and don't give the contractor
access to the electronic files.  

Whatever the final goal, the original design contract should clearly state
exactly what is required.  This will help avoid calls from the contractor
who's crying about schedules and demanding that he have access to electronic
files with no reduction in fee.

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

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