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Re: POLL: Who "Designs" Your Structural Steel Connections?

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This is not necessarily consistent throughout the U.S. and tends to be a West Coast vs. East Coast preference.  Many times the engineer will fully engineer and sketch the connection and the fabricator (actually the fabricator's detailer) adds only the fabrication details such as exact angles, gage dimensions, etc.  However, many times the engineer simply provides the loads at the connection and the fabricator will provide an appropriate design.

You may want to note that the UBC, which applies to most of the West Coast of the U.S (or at least did until recently except California which is scheduled for IBC 2006 adoption in January 2008)., highly discourages the fabricator from designing connections that specifically resist seismic loads.  UBC Section 1633.2.3 reads "Connections that resist design seismic forces shall be designed and detailed on the drawings.  The commentary to this section from the SEAOC "Recommended Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary C108.2.2 reads "In some geographical regions, particularly those with low seismicity, a practice has evolved that leaves the design and detailing of connections to the fabricator or constructor (notwithstanding its criticism by the American Society of Civil Engineers).  
This practice is absolutely prohibited by this provision......"

Thomas Hunt, S.E.

02/05/2007 03:53 PM
Please respond to seaint
POLL: Who "Designs" Your Structural Steel Connections?

In the latest edition of AISC's "Code of Standard Practice for Steel Bridges and Buildings," Section 3.1.2 begins as follows:  
"The Owner's Designated Representative for Design shall EITHER show the complete design of the Connections in the structural Design Drawings OR allow the Fabricator to select or complete the Connection details while preparing the Shop and Erection drawings." [EMPHASIS Mine]  
Herewith, an information poll question:  
Which of the two methods of "designing" the connections do you typically use on your projects?

(A) I do my own connection designs, and show them on my design drawings.

(B) I allow the Fabricator to "select or complete" the connection details, providing the appropriate information on my design drawings to enable this.

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