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Shop drawings

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Danny, we see it when the price pressure on a project is such that the
detailer feels they must do so when their fee is so strapped that.....well,
you know. Keep in mind that detailer fees are on a "per ton" basis, and it
might be $20 per ton, and if the project is a small steel-frame commercial
building (foundations and low walls) with say 40 tons of steel, their fee
will be a paltry $800..........what could you do for that? Is that worth,
say 8 hours of your time? Obviously, a larger, more complicated project
demands "self-produced" drawings, and assuming that the design or building
or engineering drawings are clear and complete, a detailer can readily
produce the appropriate placing drawings and shop lists; detailers do not
produce "shop drawings" like a structural steel detailer. Boy could I go off
on the quality of design, building and engineering drawings, that seems to
be a lost art, a lot of what we see, for lack of a better word, sucks. And
sucky drawings result in sucky submittals of placing drawings that take
multiple submittals (and a lot of time) and that is in no one's interest.

Many designers incorporate a note in their documents that forbids use of the
design drawings as placing drawings. If it is in a specification, the
detailer may not get that note; they usually only receive the design

In my humble opinion, if your drawings for a project are clear, coordinated
and complete, why take exception to using those drawings as the basis or
background for placing drawings and development of shop lists? If your
drawings are not clear, not complete, and not coordinated, you may be
(intentionally or not) taking advantage of the detailer by asking him (or
her) to do YOUR coordination, YOUR checking, and YOUR completion and that is
just not fair. You are doing a disservice to your client and all other
parties in the project if that is the case. 

ACI 315 and the CRSI Manual of Standrd Practice, and ASCE Manual no. 73 make
an attempt to address this issue.

So----I think designers need to use their judgement in deciding if this is
appropriate. Small simple project---maybe it is OK. Bigger, complicated
project? Well, the up and downside need to be weighed.

Richard W. Stone, P.E.
Project Executive
Technical Services/Project Management/Estimating
Concept Design/Engineering/Quality Assurance
Madison Concrete Construction Company
130 Quaker lane
Malvern, PA 19355-2479
email: rstone(--nospam--at)
Voice:       610.695.8800
Facsimile: 610.695.8678
Nextel:      610.496.5764
Visit our webpage at  !!!!

From: "Dan W" <dw92620(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
I have one job that the concrete sub submitted shop drawings that was a 
direct copy of the structural slab plans and sections.  The only thing the 
shop drawing preparer did is that he adds the mark numbers on the plan next 
to the reinforcing call-outs.  This defeats the whole purpose of shop 
drawings submittals.
I just wonder how common is this happened to your guys out there.  I have 
only seen a few times in my sixteen years of my career.

Danny Wong

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