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RE: underground house [gettin' pretty OT now]

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Richard, I agree with your elaboration. We need to provide structural
detailing that can be coordinated with the waterproofing. If the
waterproofing consultants come in after us, it is in our best interest to
have an understanding ahead of time of what these details may be so that we
don't spec details that are problematic. Your initial post may have lead
people to believe that we should be doing the waterproofing details?


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard L. Hess [mailto:RLHess(--nospam--at)HessEng.com] 
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:07 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: underground house [gettin' pretty OT now]

One thing that I have learned in this business is that when there is a
problem with a building, everyone involved with it gets hit.  And then we
are at the mercy of the lawyers.  Wouldn't it be better to attempt to get
more control over the process in the first place?  There is nothing wrong
with bringing a "specialist" or someone who knows more about it than we do.
In fact that is a very smart thing to do if you don't feel confident about
doing the detailing yourself.  However to look the other way and pretend
that proper detailing of the structural envelope has nothing to do with us
is, in my opinion, not right.  I figure that I have a responsibility to the
client to produce a structure that will stand up to the environment.  Water,
ice, wind and fire can do as much damage to a building as an earthquake; so
are we supposed to pick what we want to design for and ignore the rest?
The next point you will bring up is that we are not paid enough to do all
the detailing that is necessary.  Then why take the work?  Is it because too
many engineers find it easier to work for peanuts doing the minimum rather
than learning how to get the respect that we are always saying we deserve as
professionals?
This is not meant to criticize anyone since I know all who are involved on
this list are concerned about doing good engineering for our clients. My
purpose is to open up the discussion as to why we do not have more control
over the design and construction process and how we can improve.  I think
some fresh ideas will help.
Richard Hess

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Utzman [mailto:chuckuc(--nospam--at)pacbell.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 3:38 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: underground house [gettin' pretty OT now]


I spent almost 7 years doing forensic work. 95% of the litigations began
with waterproofing problems.  Even if you think you know how to design a
waterproof system, the only way to be sure it gets constructed properly is
to stand there and watch it being done.  Water is relentless & almost
perfect isn't good enough. IMHO waterproofing should be designed, inspected,
& warranted by someone who specializes in it.  Believe me, you do not want
the liability.
Chuck Utzman, PE

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