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RE: Paying for clarification

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That is not what I said. I along with everyone else makes mistakes. And there are many grey areas in design. My comment related to the statement "plan checkers are starting to rely a little to much on me".

Sounds to me like some engineers are relying too much on plan checkers to do their checking for them. In the same way that many architects these days (here I go getting into trouble again) are now relying on engineers to sort out their basic details for them.

At 10:55 AM 9/01/2009, you wrote:
Gil and Gautam,
I am a sole-proprietorship and have been in business as a small office/home office (SOHO) for over 22-years as I stated in the original e-mail. Anyone in my position is prone to making a mistake. I am not expecting the plan checker to educate me, but I sure as hell am expecting him to prevent something I overlooked or misinterpreted from getting past him. Without in-house peer review the plan checker is our last line of defense. To assume that we are perfect and should have a perfect package submitted for permit application also implies that there would be no purpose to plan check.
So, Gil, to assume that each of your packages leaves your office with all of the information completely accurate makes you very unique, possibly a deity. In our society of sole proprietors who juggle running a business, marketing, taking care of phone calls, billing, plan corrections (oops missed that one), and ringing phones and dead lines that are often rushed, the idea of perfection is a goal but not a reality. We strive for perfection, but achieving it 100% of the time is generally not possible.
Realistically, your argument goes to an extreme when my complaint is based on a centrist idea. In addition, if you consider perfection a realistic goal of the engineers package, how can you defend (if this is what you are doing) an imperfect code.
One short example; The 1997 UBC required by law (code) that almost all residential structures be designed as rigid diaphragm. The profession recommended, but did not change the code and therefore made each engineer responsible for potential liability through non-compliance with the letter of the law. I spent some time working as a sub-contractor to a contract plan check agency. Almost 100% of the submittals for structures in wood framing less than 3-stories were submitted using flexible diaphragm analysis with no consideration for rigid or semi-rigid diaphragm. In your comparison, you would have submitted the package in rigid because it is the letter of the law and therefore perfection while the profession?s recommendation, that most used, cannot hold up in court if a failure should occur and the argument is that the diaphragm was rigid but the engineer followed a recommendation of the professional community that was not codified.
There is no such thing as perfection ? it is only a goal we work to achieve.
From: Gautam Manandhar [ mailto:Gautam_Manandhar(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:48 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Paying for clarification
I agree with you that the designer should get it right in the first place.  Mt attitude is that I am human and can (and will) make mistakes.  To me, a good plan checker is a second set of eyes.  I would rather he catch my mistakes rather that the contractor.

From: Gil Brock [ mailto:gil(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Paying for clarification

At 04:03 AM 8/01/2009, you wrote:
 >  I don?t want the plan checker signing off my work because I am a 60-ish year old white haired engineer who he believes has the great knowledge of experience to rely upon.
I am 30-ish and am having insecure feelings that the plan checkers are starting to rely a little to much on me. I am not being arrogant, but I expected corrections on several of my recent submittals and got almost none.

Maybe I am mis-interpreting your comment but I find it worrying that you are relying on plan checkers to find your mistakes. Maybe I am old fashioned having but I always thought it was my job as a designer to get it right in the first place and make sure it leaves the office ready to be built. Not to be simply a first rough attempt at a design which I hope someone else will fix for me!

Regards  Gil Brock
Prestressed Concrete Design Consultants Pty. Ltd. (ABN 84 003 163 586)
5 Cameron Street Beenleigh Qld 4207 Australia
Ph +61 7 3807 8022               Fax +61 7 3807 8422
email:            gil(--nospam--at)
email:            sales(--nospam--at)
email:            support(--nospam--at)

Regards  Gil Brock
Prestressed Concrete Design Consultants Pty. Ltd. (ABN 84 003 163 586)
5 Cameron Street Beenleigh Qld 4207 Australia
Ph +61 7 3807 8022               Fax +61 7 3807 8422
email:            gil(--nospam--at)
email:            sales(--nospam--at)
email:            support(--nospam--at)