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RE: new PE forming partnership

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FTR, the concepts of “licensed” and AIA are not the same.  “Licensed” is important.  “AIA”, is important only if you like to drink and play golf.


Anyway….I’m not so sure what the up-side for the engineer would be in this situation.    From the engineer’s perspective, how many times will architectural draftspeople/CAD operators put together details blissfully unaware of the structural consequences?   Does a partnership where you are the only licensed engineer imply that you have, or will be thought by clients to have reviewed the structural integrity of every detail the “architects” put together?  Remember, as an architect, I am liable for all kinds of minor structural integrity issues you engineers rarely, if ever, even think about.


 I would certainly imagine hearing the pitch to a client by one of the architectural partners that would be quick to tout that, “Hey, don’t sweat it; one of our partners is an engineer, so you can rest assured that all of our stuff is stout, right down to the most insignificant, foo-foo, decorative piece of filigree !  Our guy will be ON it!!”


You want to be THAT guy? 

From: Andrew Kester, PE [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 6:17 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: re: new PE forming partnership


You said that the company that is offering you partnership delivers architectural plans. Are they full blown licensed architects, or just CAD techs that perform architectural services? The reason I ask is around here there are several "Drafting Services" that are fairly knowledgeable CAD techs/ designers but are not licensed architects. They mainly do residential drawings and in FL you need a PE or licensed AIA to sign and seal the drawings. They then look for someone to review, sign, and seal, usually for such a small fee that leads me to believe it is glorified plan stamping. But as an engineer you are signing and sealing the whole set. Now I have picked up a lot about architecture over the years, I worked in an arch and eng office for the first half of my career, but that does not sit right with me. I am OK with an occasional flashing detail or gyp board call out on my small projects, but anything beyond that I don't like to pretend to be an architect. That is just me, and everyone has their own abilities, skill set, and judgment to make.


I would just ask a lot of questions about what kind of services they provide, what projects they do, and what your expected role would be. Also, why are they so eager to jump into a partnership with a brand new PE and not a more seasoned veteran? I am not doubting your abilities just perhaps their intentions...


Good Luck, and definitely involve a lawyer as someone suggested for the business aspects.


Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
Lake Mary, FL