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Re: Who regulates building officials?

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I don't think this calls for more regulation of building officials.  It's just part of the education process.for people who don't understand what it takes to design a building.
 
I've had people come to me with ill-conceived plans who claimed to have been told by the someone in the building department that all they needed was an engineer's signature in order to get a building permit.  My guess is that the same thing has happened to many of us.  Well, I won't sign it, but I'll tell him what I need to do to turn it into a project that I can sign.  And my fee will be so-and-so.  WHOOSH -- he's out the door.   My guess is that the guy in the building department told him pretty much the same thing as I told him, and he became such a pest that the guy told him to get an engineer's signature just to get rid of him.
 
----- Original Message -----
From: rse
To: Seaint
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2004 9:22 AM
Subject: Who regulates building officials?

Dear SEAINT,

A client phoned today to discuss a foundation design for a small pre-engineered metal building. He hoped to re-use the foundation plan we had recently designed for an adjacent building. The chief bulding official had told him that he could re-use the foundation plan as long as we provided a letter saying it was OK for the new building. I assumed that the new buliding was an extenson of the original buliding and told the client to bring the plans in for a more careful look.

The client brought in the foundation plan for his original building and the manufacturer’s drawings for the proposed building. The new buliding was not going to be attached to the original building, was a different size, had a much smaller main frame spacing.  It wasn't even from teh same manufacturer. I told the client that I thought it was a really bad idea for him to try to cut-and-paste plans for one building’s footings to match another framing system, and furthermore that what he spent in design fees would probably be recouped in savings on concrete for the column pads (the tributary area for the first building’s column pads was about 3 times more than the trib area for the proposed bldg's pads).

My main question is how can a building official think that a foundation plan can be adapted from one size and configuration of building to a completely different one?  Is there any state body that governs building officials, or would my only recourse be the city council? Is this something that the state engineering licensing board could/would do anything about? Could Arnie come out and dope-slap him?  This is not an isolated incident, we've had him tell people that we put requirements on aour plans that did'nt need to be there and I overhead him at the front counter telling someone, "your plans are fine you just need to 'get them stamped' by an engineer."

Name with-held to protect the guilty

PS  We already told the client that we're not interested in doing this.