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Re: IBC 2003: Section 1603 - Construction Documents

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What I've done in the past is to develop the foundation drawings for the building showing my load assumptions. identify the criteria I want the PEMB manufacturer to use and have them provide sealed drawings with the necessary details (sealed by their "specialty structural engineer").  The building is then noted on the plans to be a "deferred approval" item (similar to manufactured roof trusses).  It doesn't seem to phase the Building Officials here in N. California. They issue the permits and let life go on. The inspectors are good about making sure the PEMB gets submitted and approved before erection.  Depending on the building, you might have to revise your foundation details a little once it is submitted.
Bill Cain, S.E.
Berkeley CA
-----Original Message-----
From: Polhemus, Bill <bill.polhemus(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 15:50:24 -0500
Subject: IBC 2003: Section 1603 - Construction Documents

I'm finishing up a building sheet to go out for bid, showing an open-wall PEMB--really, it's a shed, but a really BIG shed.
I opened the IBC to verify what sorts of information needs to be included on such a drawing, and came across the following:
1603.1 General. Construction documents shall show the size, section and relative locations of structural members with floor levels, column centers and offsets fully dimensioned…
It gives an EXCEPTION to "buildings constructed in accordance with … conventional light-frame construction…" (i.e. Section 2308, which pertains to wood framing).
Going to the Definitions on page 13, we find that Construction Documents are essentially the drawings and specs, etc., "necessary for obtaining a building permit."
Now my question is this: Since this is to be a PEMB designed by others, am I also exempt from the requirement to show "size" and "section" of structural members? Because of course that determination will be by the PEMB manufacturer selected by the Contractor.
In the past, I've always included information such as the Wind and Seismic criteria, the live loads, etc., on this type of drawing so that it is designed consistent with what I, as EOR, think proper. But am I in violation of the Code if I don't also include ALL the information described above?

I guess one out would be that my drawing is NOT the "construction document" to which the code refers since the building won't be erected according to my drawing, only designed. The PEMB supplier will handle the design and the construction drawings.
But if I'm not mistaken, my drawing WILL be the one used to obtain the Building Permit.
As I sit here right now, it looks as though some clarification ought to be made here, perhaps adding PEMBs to the category of "Exception" alongside conventional light-frame construction.
Any thoughts?

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