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Re: Tales of Terror #1: Architects doing engineering

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Dennis- as you know, in CA architects and civil engineers are legally
equal- each can design whatever they can find a client to pay them to do
except neither can design a public school or public hospital. The
problems you are finding are not different than when a civil engineer who
is more at home designing water lines or highways tries to design a
building. I use tributary areas in designing distribution to diaphragms
(considering them flexible)  except in Santa Monica where we have to use
the rigid diaphragm procedures- which result in much more design time but
not much difference in shear values. I think LA has the best idea- just
add 20% to demands found in flexible analysis procedures (using tributary
loads).. I have never heard of anyone using what seems to be overly
simplistic (and in error) 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 methods.
I would be interested in seeing tests that show a simple distribution. We
could then use them and save a lot of work.

Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA

On Tue, 29 Jun 2004 09:45:07 -0700 chuck utzman <chuckuc(--nospam--at)pacbell.net>
writes:
> Dennis-
> IMHO the dumb architect has it right  & you persist in doing  it 
> wrong :o)
> Every test I'm aware of shows the distribution to be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. 
> (If  
> it doesn't  change the wall construction, I sometimes use 1/3, 1/2, 
> 1/3 
> just to keep plan checkers like you at bay.)
> 
> At a SEOC convention in S.F. a few years back, researchers from 
> Texas 
> IIRC presented their test results from a simple unblocked pitched 
> roof 
> building.  The uniform load at the top plate distributed itself  
> 1/3, 
> 1/2, 1/3.  Likewise for every reasonably proportioned floor 
> platform.
> 
> Chuck Utzman, P.E.
> 
> Dennis Wish wrote:
> 
> > I started to write this in order to vent my frustration as a 
> contract 
> > (sub-contract) plan checker who has found that more architects are 
> 
> > designing the structural elements of high-end custom homes. This 
> is 
> > upsetting ? I?m actually making money as the more errors I find, 
> the 
> > more time I spend and the more I make hourly. I don?t need to 
> design 
> > their homes, I only need to plan check them.
> >
> > Don?t misunderstand, I know a great many architects who became 
> > engineers and they went through the hard work to prove they were 
> > capable. But what I am seeing are architects who think they 
> remember 
> > their statics and strength of materials from forty years ago and 
> > attempt to apply it today in order to save the cost of hiring an 
> > engineer. Three or four plan check cycles later, they tend to find 
> 
> > engineers to help them through the things they don?t understand.
> >
> > Just one example ? I can?t resist this one. The designer (I am 
> > hesitant to use the title architect) calculates the base shear of 
> a 
> > fairly rectangular building with three lines of resistance. Rather 
> 
> > than waste the time to design the distribution of the two 
> diaphragms 
> > between the three grid lines as simply supported beams, the 
> architect 
> > applies 1/3 of the total lateral load to each line of shear. Have 
> I 
> > missed something? I?ve been used to figuring the reactions which 
> > almost always ends up with 50% of the shear in the middle wall and 
> 25% 
> > at each end. He would have been better off eliminating the center 
> 
> > shearwall had it not been for a re-entrant corner and don?t get me 
> 
> > started on that one.
> >
> >  
> >
> > What has this world come to when BORPELS (California) has no 
> control 
> > over architects practicing engineering and the office of the 
> > Department of Consumer Affairs that licenses Architects will do 
> > nothing until the damage occurs and the Architect is considered 
> > potentially negligent (I?ve checked ? trust me).
> >
> >  
> >
> > Politics has reached every segment of our society ? I mention 
> > certification of Framers and find the BIA (Building Industry 
> > Association) putting me on their black list.
> >
> >  
> >
> > So, what?s your take on all of this? Should I just retire to 
> > Southeastern Arizona and become a hermit (with my wife family and 
> dogs)?
> >
> >  
> >
> > Dennis
> >
> >  
> >
> >
> >       Dennis S. Wish, PE
> >
> > California Professional Engineer
> >
> > Structural Engineering Consultant
> >
> > dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net <mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>
> >
> > http://www.structuralist.net <http://www.structuralist.net/>
> >
> >  
> >
> >
> > ---
> > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
> > Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
> > Version: 6.0.572 / Virus Database: 362 - Release Date: 1/27/2004
> >
> 
> 
> 
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