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Re: Plan Checkers?

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I received the latest issue of the SEAONC news last night. On the first page is a Structural Engineers Association of California Position Statement titled "Criteria for an Effective Structural Plan Check, August 2, 2006".

It lists seven points and also refers the reader to the ICC Peninsula Chapter, Plan Check Standards committee, Guideline for Effective Plan Checking, dated 12.10.03, which provides three reasons for plan checking and the provides 5 points that should be kept in mind during a plan check.

My personal comment on this very good document is that the plan checking should also include the drawings and calculations for public utilities which are apparently exempt for municipal oversight.

A few times in the past our submittal's have had questionable comments from the reviewer. One who stamped slope requirements for roofs all over the drawings even though specific slopes were clearly indicated. This was by a former plumbing contractor who was then the city building official in earthquake country. The other was that a #4 bar was not .20 square inches.

At one time we plan checked for some cities on the San Francisco peninsula. It became clear that there was a real problem with some engineers (and surveyors doing structural design). Our goal was to just have the plans and calculations conform to the minimum code. This is a situation where you (finally) get to see some of the competition's work and how bad they are.

This quality problem still exists today. Our local group has provided two seminars concerning engineering issues with the local county building departments blessing (in fact they provided the meeting facilities.) Known problem engineers were invited to these seminars. Attendance by them: 0.

The SEAOC position statement is now being forwarded on to NCSEA for possible national adoption.

Neil Moore, SE, SECB
neil moore and associates
consulting structural engineers
shingle springs, california

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