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STEEL: Q - What is the proper procedure for submitting/approving an alternate design?

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Hello, all.

I have a job where the contractor is submitting though his fabricator/detailer an alternate design to that which I submitted for permit.

In general, I have no problem with this, as long as it meets the design requirements. In fact, I sort of enjoy the opportunity to "learn" from a fabricator and erector. More'n one way to skin a cat, as we say in these parts.

However, when the submittal arrived, it was in the form of ONLY shop drawings, no calculations, not even an engineer's seal or "disclaimer" attached. Since I'm the EOR, I guess that much is a "gray area," but my response to them was "guys, I don't have anything to approve. Please send me calculations, etc., so that I can review it for conformance to the design requirements."

Their response has been puzzlement. I think that THEY think "h*ll, you're an engineer, you oughta know if it's okay or not!" It's almost as if they're pulling something out of their design standards and then asking me to verify the design adequacy. Since they're not my client, and since my client has already paid me ONCE for the steel design, I don't see why I should oblige them.

What I need to know is, what is the proper procedure here? I have lookeed through the AISC Code of Standard Practice, but I cannot find anything that covers this. I have also looked on AISC's website to no avail. I would contact their support hotline, but I'm not a member of AISC and I figure I could better get a cross-section of real-world opinions here.

Thanks.

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