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RE: Annoying and Inane Building Dept Requests, IV

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I don’t appreciate your problem because I do nothing with pre-cast. However, I understand the frustration from the professional community that strives to design in ambiguity and complexity in design to resist facing the challenge of taking on the construction industry or the other lobby groups to get to the root of the problem (i.e., construction defects and poorly design (yes even poorly engineered) structures). It is easier to make the rules of design more restrictive than it is to improve the quality of the work done on the site or require more training of specialty trades and framers (for those of us in wood design) . Consider for the moment how prescriptive residential design can be constructed next door to the same home that is engineered and to have such a diverse difference in the two products. At one time, the standard of construction was to be not less than that of an engineered equivalent, but since around 91 the housing lobby changed to allow more homes constructed by prescriptive methods that ultimately resulted in heavier damages from seismic and wind events. When the engineer is taken out of the equation the product will suffer, but having the engineer in place does not justify increasing complexity in design education and practice. As an example of this is simply the cross-referencing of the varies references required to design to the 2006 IBC.


Just needed some place to add to the rant!




From: Andrew Kester, P.E. [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 1:39 PM
To: seaint
Subject: Annoying and Inane Building Dept Requests, IV


Orange County, Florida, which covers much of the greater Metro Orlando area, is now requiring all jobs with pre-cast, pre-engineered masonry lintels to have on the Engineer of Record's Drawings to have the manufacturer's pre-cast lintel details and allowable load tables recreated on their drawings. Then you of course have to have marks or something on your plan at each opening to indicate which type of lintel is to be used there. This, in my opinion, stems from tract house drawings produced by lesser qualified archs and eng, and "designers", where they have an entire sheet full of lintel drawings, tables, etc., to baffle the plans examiner with bullsh#%....


I am guessing this is mainly because there was a gap between the drawings and what the GC was using, or it was unclear on many drawings which lintel should be used and where. Also the inspector would be confused on site as the lintel mfr would not match what is on the drawings (so said the plans examiner to me on the phone). We up until now succesfully showed a typical pre-cast lintel, and had a table that indicated what the min safe allowable loads would be required for each span. Then the GC could select a lintel that meets those requirements from any mfr, and if submit the load tables to the building dept as necessary.


By big beef here is that not only is this all a waste of time and drawing space:

a) I am signing and sealing another engineer's work, which is a no-no and could get me into trouble with the Board and my E and O carrier

b) I have to pick a mfr before the job gets bid, if the GC wants to use a different one I have to issue revised drawings

c) Why am I recreating mfr allowable load tables when nobody knows the actual loads on the lintel except me?


Should I contact the Florida Board of PEs about this?


I have done it once reluctantly with the biggest CYA note in a huge box you could ever see, which would take some great legal arrows to penetrate.


Am I looking at this wrong? Is this any different then me calling out for a steel joist type that is actually designed by another engineer? Or a hollow core panel? Or even a steel deck? Or a Simpson strap? But then again, with these I am not required to detail the product and provide allowable load tables... 



Andrew Kester, P.E.
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Ave., Suite 301
Orlando, FL 32803