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Re: Re-use revisited

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"In that regard, the architect isn't wrong in saying that the liability assumed by being responsible for additional units won't affect the engineer's bottom line."

It won't affect his bottom line at that particular moment, but long term the odds that it will hurt him rise quite a bit.  Even assuming his design is perfect, the more times the drawings are used the greater the chance that the contractor or someone else along the line will make a mistake on a particular unit and end up getting everyone involved sued.  Once things start going wrong, nearly anyone is a potential target.  Also, if someone on the design team has made a mistake somewhere in the design, increasing numbers of units built off of the same drawings increase the number of claims that can be expected.  Again, even those who aren't at fault may well get dragged into a dispute.  What if the geotech misreads their borings and all the foundations start cracking up a year down the road?  It would be a shame to get paid for 1 unit and get sued for 400.  That's the part of the equation that is being missed by saying that it doesn't affect the bottom line.  It doesn't right now, today, but the more reuse that happens the greater the odss that it will next week or next year.  

Paul Crocker, PE, SE


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