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Re: Architect cheating on structural calculations - where's the building depa...

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Don't mis-understand, I am not condoning rubber stamp reviews with the argument that they are not paid enough, this is as distasteful as an engineer saying they were not paid enough to do the job properly (I have heard variations of this one).
The question really comes down to "What is structural plan check?"  A search of the archives will reveal series of debates on the need for plan check, bad plan check, good plan check and so forth.  I have experienced the full range.
I won't claim to have all the answers, but I have come to understand many of the problems.  A plan checker cannot be expected to catch errors on a complex project in a few short hours when that project has taken months to design, unless those errors are blatant.  If a jurisdiction truly wants to have a structural plan check, anything less than peer review by competent equally licensed individuals will be flawed.  A system where authority is given without accountability is prone to abuse.
In an ideal world, the licensed professional should not need "plan check", and it bothers me to see engineers who feel that somehow receiving building department approval means their work is adequate and that the plan check process "checked" their work.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Architect cheating on structural calculations - where's the building depa...

In a message dated 12/6/2005 5:43:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, pfeather(--nospam--at) writes:
I do not agree with you.  The EOR is the only person who should be responsible, plan check should be as simple as looking to see that the basic provisions of the code are being addressed.  Plan checkers are not there to catch your errors, and they are not a peer review.  Obtaining a permit and plan check approval does not mean the design is right or appropriate, only that in someone's opinion it seems to meet minimum code requirements.
I am not going to descend into plan check bashing, but if you expect plan check to find your errors you are in for a rude awakening. 
Paul Feather PE, SE
I agree, it is the EOR's responsilbilty. But if the City (like San Marino, CA) farms the structural planchecking out to a private firm (licensed engineers) and they just "rubber-stamp" the submittal, that licensed engineer should be "punished" too. (Especially for using the excuse that the City does not pay enough to do the job!!)
Antonio S. Luisoni  PE,SE