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RE: Engineers and Specifications

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I think the basic reason is that most engineers would rather play with
numbers than words, which is too bad, because way more problems seem to be
generated from bad specifications then from bad design or detailing. The
words deserve equal time.

I always write, review or revise the specification sections related to
structural work on my jobs. We don't generally work for architects since our
company mostly does heavy infrastructure, water and wastewater stuff, etc.
You can't leave this to the mercy of other engineers who don't understand
the subject matter as well as you do. Also, since you are the one who is
keeping up on the code requirements, reading technical journals, and are
most aware of what's critical and what isn't, you are in the best position
to catch a bad spec or bring it up to date.

I'm not knocking specification writers. If you work for a company that's big
enough to support a specialist, they can do wonders. But you abandon your
role in the process at your peril, since you are the one who is going to
have to reckon with the problems a flawed spec generates.

Jim Lutz, P.E., S.E.
Earth Tech, Inc.

10800 NE 8th Street - 7th Floor
Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 698-1143 Direct
(425) 455-9494 Ext 7024
(425) 453-9470 FAX
http://www.earthtech.com




-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Gilligan [mailto:MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 9:37 PM
To: seaint
Subject: Engineers and Specifications


I would like to better understand why Structural Engineers are less than
excited regarding writing construction specifications.

Is it because:
--You have never been taught how to write specifications?
--This is something that Architects do?
--It does no good?
--You do not have the time?
--It is too hard?
--Why spend the time to learn when the next Architect has different rules?
--Specifications are written by the in-house specification writer?

I would appreciate it if you would share your reason either by posting in
on the web site or by e-mailing me direct at markkgilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com.

TIA

Mark Gilligan

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