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Re: ACI 318-02 reinforcing steel questions

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"Many developers "flip" their projects as soon as their finished. They don't care."

That doesn't change your professional liability.  If anything, it raises the likelihood you'll have a claim because you now have the prospect of the buyer hiring someone to inspect the building and review the design to find flaws to justify a lower price or to warn the buyer away.  If and when it is sold, you will not be dealing with the original developer with whom you may have some established and ongoing relationship, and who on that basis may be more inclined to talk things out first before seeking legal recourse if they perceive a problem to be occuring.   

The more pressure you get to stretch the limits of the code and come up with "creative" and "cost-effective" interpretations, the more careful you ought to be about the people you are dealing with.  There are some honest folks who just want to maximize profits, which is fair enough, but there are a lot of shady developers who are happy to pressure you as much as it takes to push the limits to save more money knowing that it will be you and your insurance, not them, who will have to open their wallets if anything goes wrong.  Think of the risk/reward matrix from their point of view.  If you cut corners, save them money, and things go fine, then they win and you break even.  If you cut corners, save them money, and things go bad, then they still win but you lose.  I don't know if that is the case here, but I tend to get nervous when there is pressure to start questioning good practice in favor of more aggressive readings of the code.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE



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