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RE: Chapter 17- IBC

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For the most part special inspections are not being done very well.  Local authorities having jurisdiction should require a "special inspector of record" (SIOR) in order to be truly effective.  It is a simple concept that was intituted in the Special Inspection Program in Kansas City, MO.
The program developed in Kansas City were born more out of the bitter lessons of the Hyatt Regency walkway failure as opposed to seismic design considerations of the West Coast.  This program and check sheets requires the SIOR to verify that all special inspectors were properly qualified, all of the special inspection discrepencies were resolved with the EOR, and all of the special inspections were performed. 
The lazy engineer in me likes the concept of going to one piece of paper that says ALL of the special inspections were done and done properly, and that paper bears the seal of a PE in charge of special inspections.  It may not be bullet proof, but it is better than what we currently have. 
Developing the "SIOR" may be yet another windmill for me to tilt.  If nothing else, the KC manual can be added to any set of specs.  Although it might look odd to have a KC manual for inspection on a project in Guam. 

Harold Sprague

Subject: Chapter 17- IBC
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:38:07 -0500
From: mmotchos(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

How well, or not well, are special inspections being enforced out there?


We have a situation in which the Owners Rep and local Building Code Official are of the opinion that our requirements regarding tests and qualifications are “excessive” (i.e. they have probably never done them before, and they are tight on money). The SSI is directly based on the CASE documents which have been used as baselines for enforcement in other county building departments in the state. As reference, the project is in a rural county and is a 42,000sf 2story special concentric steel braced frame in a SDC D. In particular the CBO is allowing a local architect (actually the Owners Rep), who does not meet the qualifications in the SSI, to perform “inspections”. Some of the inspections are simply not being done and others not done thoroughly.  We have been repeatedly documenting this to the owner and those involved to no avail other then raising tempers. The CBO believes he has the discretion to implement the SSI as he sees fit, but we are not of the same opinion. To further complicate a bad situation, the building is a county building, so they have a vested interest. We are clearly concerned for the quality of the project as well as fulfilling our own professional and legal obligations to the public.


Has any one come across this before? Any opinions on how to move forward? Is this really up to the CBO?





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