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Re: More "Responsible Charge" Stuff

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Bill,

The TDI REQUIRES that all structures be ENGINEERED not just inspected. The
prescriptive code that used to be in effect was so that if the structure met
certain criteria the builder could build it to the code and TDI would
inspect it eliminating the need for an engineer in those cases where the
structure fit the prescriptive code. However most
don't-no-nothing-'bout-structural-engineering engineers were using the
prescriptive code to inspect structures that did not fit the parameters of
the prescriptive requirements. The TDI had expected that for structures not
meeting the requirements that an engineer would use ENGINEERING to produce a
design to meet the calculated wind load. Now the registration process you
mentioned doesn't cost any money and it let anyone and everyone become
registered with TDI most of whom don't no how to calculate wind loads using
ASCE 7 or how to figure the stress in a 2x4. Most engineers in the Texas
Windstorm game are still not DESIGNING these structures most don't even know
as much as the framer about what's going on. Then they (the engineer) sign a
form that states that they swear that the structure can withstand a 110,
120, 130 mph ASCE 7 wind loading. When further inspection brings doubt as to
the structures ability to withstand the loading then the engineer has
several chances to produce the calculations to prove what he submitted is
true. Apparently the ones in question can't prove that what the did was
right and that's a no-no. I'm glad they are cracking down on the hacks. We
don't do too many residential windstorm designs because noone wants to pay a
few thousand for a properly designed house when they can get the same
certification letter from a hack who charges $250  for his signature. Do
baseball players even charge that much for an autograph?

<Rant off>
Rand

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: More "Responsible Charge" Stuff


> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jim Getaz [mailto:jgetaz(--nospam--at)shockeyprecast.com]
> > Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 6:43 AM
> > To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> > Subject: More "Responsible Charge" Stuff
> >
> > Bill,
> > I understand that in Virginia an engineering firm with a
> > branch office must have a P.E. assigned full-time in that office. I
think
> > the P.E. is allowed to leave for lunch and go home in the evening, but a
> > successful engineer cannot branch out by letting a drafter with a long
> > commute to rent a storefront near home and solicit engineering work,
even
> > if
> > all the work is performed by the founding P.E. I cannot cite Board
action,
> > but that's my understanding.
>
> I'd have to think about this for a bit.
>
> In my opinion, all this stuff is rather like the convoluted laws that were
> in vogue in Judaism at the time of Christ: "Can't walk more than 2,000
steps
> on the Sabbath," etc.
>
> I think we need to cut through all this crud, and get to the heart of the
> matter which is protecting the public.
>
> Someone posted here a blurb about the engineer who was negligent in his
> design, which "fell down" and caused property damage (and I don't recall
if
> any person was hurt or killed).
>
> THAT is pertinent!
>
> IN contrast, take this "honey-pot" of a scheme whereby, here in Texas, the
> Texas Department of Insurance issued a "Building Code" for wind resistant
> design (the most gosh-awful, poorly-written monstrosity of its kind I've
> ever seen), and solicited engineers to become "registered" for the purpose
> of conducting inspections.
>
> First of all, IMO, any P.E. should have been able to do inspections of
this
> kind WITHOUT registration with the state Insurance Department simply by
> virtue of being a Licensed P.E.!
>
> But be that as it may, TBPE apparently saw a HUGE opportunity for a
windfall
> there, and began to pore through the many inspection reports, issuing
> citations (and gathering lots of lovely fines) for engineers found
> "negligent" through sloppy inspections and poor reports.
>
> I can't help but wonder if this was all a "sting" operation: Let's find
out
> what Engineers are interested in doing these inspections (via the
> "registration" process), then let's root around and see what we can find
in
> their reports to slap 'em with.
>
> In this case, you can readily make the case that these actions were in the
> interest of "the public good," but talk about your "chilling effect!" I
> constantly get calls from people asking if I do these inspections, saying
> they can't find any engineer who does them any more (gee, wonder why?) I
> respond that I don't participate in the program because the risk is too
> high. If I miss something, even in good faith, the typical monetary
penalty
> would wipe out any profit I might realize from this activity and send me
> deeply into the red.
>
> That's not to mention the collateral damage of having my name written up
in
> the Board newsletter for public consumption. Wonder how that might affect
my
> standing in the community?
>
> Thanks, State of Texas, for helping prove that old adage: "No good deed
goes
> unpunished." (And believe me, at around only $200 per inspection, this
> nearly qualifies as a charitable enterprise).
>
>
>
>
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