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Re: Sealed Shop Drawings

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I believe that the practice of sealing shop drawings evolved when contractors 
were delegated portions of the design and did not want to pay for the creation 
of seperate drawings to document the design.  When this practice became common 
some engineers got into the habit of specifying that the shop drawings be 
sealed.  This was just requiring what they understood to be common practice. You 
need only look to contractors and lazy engineeers to find the reason for this 
problem.

The engineer performing the delegated design needs to stamp and sign the 
calculations, drawings, and if appropriate specifications documenting his 
design.  This is required by the state lregistration laws.  The drawings can 
take the form of shop drawings prepared under his supervision, sketches, or 
formal sheets of drawings.  Because the delegated design needs to be reviewed 
and approved by the building official and because the building official approves 
construction documents and not calculations the the drawings need to be seperate 
from the calculations.

I do not believe the sealed cover letter satisfies the intent of the state 
registration laws.  In this situation it would be appropriate to stamp and sign 
the documents you provided the detailers to direct them what to do.

When the dsign of a portion of the work is delegated the engineer accepting the 
design is also responsible for making recommendations for modifications to the 
statement of special inspection related to the delegated design.

In response to the suggestion that sealing shop drawings (or seperate 
drawings) is an attempt to shift liability off the design engineer I look at it 
as a state licensing requirement and as an attempt to place the liability with 
the entity who had control over the detailed design.  If the Owner wishes to 
reduce the design fees to the design engineer by having the contractor design 
some portions of the project why should the design engineer accept liability for 
those portions of the project he did not design?   If the contractor wishes to 
control portions of the design why should the design engineer accept full 
responsibility for the portion of the design that he was not allowed to control?
Mark Gilligan 
  
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Subject: Sealed Shop Drawings
From: rivet man <oldsteelengr(--nospam--at)gmail.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org


I am the engineering department in steel fabricator. I will not seal any
shop drawing regardless of what is in the contract documents. Engineering
registration laws specify that I can seal only those documents prepared
under my personal supervision and they are pretty specific to what that is
including proximity to the drawing preparation. If shop drawings are
prepared in another state, I have no access to their preparation. If I find
this requirement noted, I will send in an RFI stating what the law is and
why I can't seal the drawings.  I am pretty involved in the detailing
process so I can write a letter and place my seal on it staing that the shop
drawings meet the requirements of the plans and specifications.

To date, I have never gotton a coherent statement from any engineer about
why the shop drawings need to sealed. Typically the response has been along
the vein of "Because I said to."  Any connection calculations are always
sent as a separate sealed package along with shop drawing submittals. I do
not understand why anyone would require drawings that go to the shop have an
engineer's seal on them. I have always regarded the sealing requirement to
be an attempt to shift liability off the design engineer.

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