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- Subject: Re: Incompetent Plan Checker -- Was: Ceiling deflection damage caused by exc...
- From: "Dennis S. Wish, PE" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>
- Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:11:49 -0800
To support Bill's objection, I would have to say that the indiscriminate use of the word incompetent is similar to the work liable - it must be proved and this requires litigation or the review by a council of their peers.
On the other side of the coin - I've done plan review and when you do a few hundred (really less to get set off) you become frustrated with engineers and/or architects doing engineering that submit incomplete sets of drawings and calculations and then "challenge" the plan checker to find them. It used to be that by doing so an engineer was getting into the city's schedule and could finish his work while the initial submittal was being reviewed. Furthermore, some engineers have used this technique to obtain payment from a client if their contract states that they get so much for a retain, so much when submitted to plan check and so much when the corrections are completed.
I do agree that it is frustration when there is an abuse on either side, but this is far from incompetent - it is a ploy or game to manipulate a client or a busy building department to slip in a set of plans and then possibly transfer and updated set before the structural plan check is started. Most plan check authorities have at least a week or two (most have more in busy areas) to turn around the plan review and this means that the project goes into the hopper and does not get started for a week or more - giving the structural a chance to finish his or her work after billing the client.
There are too many games played and when I see something this obvious, I tend to go to the standard ICBO Plan Check list and circle all items that I want to see on the drawings and add a note that the drawings were incomplete and that a review could not be completed until the circled items have been addressed. In other words they start at square one again and it becomes an issue between the engineer and/or architect and whomever advanced the payments.
To call someone Incompetent without prefacing an opinion is virtually slanderous and must be proved. The accuser needs to do this through appropriate channels rather than using their personal criteria as the De facto standard.
In this case I would be very careful about throwing around this word when referring to a specific person. However, if you are referring to a method of construction or design that you disagree with you might use incompetent design or incompetent methods in your argument as an opinion stating what you feel is at fault and allow those reading your post to debate the issue. Personal attacks against the professional ability one person is unacceptable and I will admit that I probably have broken this rule myself at times, but see the other side of the argument now.
Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant
760.564.0884 (office - fax)
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