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Re: License (Business)

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The opera house is beautiful, but it doesn't work very well as a building. The point of the presentation I saw on Nova back fifteen tears ago or so, is that the DESIGNERS of buildings seem no longer capable of conceiving the totality.

I. M. Pei's design got the John Hancock Bldg in Boston won all sorts of design awards - even while it was regularly popping out huge panes of curtain-wall glass and dropping them onto th street.

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Via iPhone 3G

On Aug 14, 2009, at 7:35 AM, Richard Calvert <RichardC(--nospam--at)lbbe.com> wrote:

Why is everyone down on the opera house all of a sudden?
I mean, I can understand cost far exceeds its direct function.
But it's a world known structure that certainly attracts more tourist tax dollars than something lesser would have...




-----Original Message-----
From: Gil Brock [mailto:gil(--nospam--at)raptsoftware.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:07 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: License (Business)

Conrad,

Dull structural engineers should not be involved in complex
structures, so whoever is selecting the consulting engineer should
not select a dull one if he wants a complex structure. If the idiot
paying the money selects a dull engineer to design a complex
structure, what can he expect to get!

I disagree with a lot of what you are saying. Yes, there are
engineers who are only up to square boxes. There are probably some
who should not design anything that is suspended also, because they
hurt when they fall down. Hopefully most of them know their
limitations and do not try to take on tasks beyond their abilities.

But most times, it is the client who causes the structure to be a big
box because they will not pay for anything else, in terms of
construction costs, construction time and consultants fees. And often
it is a very cheap big box because they use substandard materials
that start to look run-down after only a few years, especially with
cladding. I know a lot of engineers who are capable of designing any
structure they are asked for, but I do not know of many clients who
are willing to pay for it, except in the Middle East (and who knows
what money is being used to pay for it there). You cannot expect to
get the Sydney Opera House for a structural fee .5% of construction
cost and have it designed in 3 weeks and built by the end of the year
for $300 per/m2.

I agree that the Sydney Opera House is overly complex, overly
expensive and probably a waste of money, but that is what the
Architect came up with and the client was willing to pay (too bad it
was our tax dollars). They tried to get it simplified during the
design stages but did not succeed.


At 05:23 PM 11/08/2009, you wrote:
Gil,

The architect may operate as part of a team, but the architect is typically the team leader and historically the team leader. They may not make the
engineering decisions, but their decisions influence the structure.

Thus architects determine whether get the Sydney Opera House, or the
Adelaide Festival theatre, or the Adelaide Entertainment centre. If a dull structural engineer involved then the Sydney Opera House would have been simplified to being like the Adelaide Entertainment centre: a big box. And architects do seem to have a hard time finding structural engineers who will
go beyond the big box. If sticking with the box, and to historical
conventions, and the tried and tested, then what need of the engineer?

The lesser architect will be bullied by the structural engineer into
accepting the dull box, the great architect will not budge and will find a
better structural engineer (real).

Since architects are not all alike and structural engineers are not all alike, it makes sense that sometimes they need to be paired up and sometimes they have no need of each other. Some times neither is required and have
owner-designer-builders doing it all for themselves.

There is no one single project organisation structure, that suits all
projects, all the time, and in all places. The resources available to a project have to be managed properly: calling in the higher level skills when
needed.



Regards
Conrad Harrison
B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust
mailto:sch.tectonic(--nospam--at)bigpond.com
Adelaide
South Australia





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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
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