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Re: EOR and Special Inspections and contracts

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Special inspections , while defined in the IBC, enforcement is local. You need to know and understand the local requirements, and more and more jurisdictions are creating standards. If the local jurisdiction doesn't have a way to enforce that Chapter 17 inspections are happening, they won't happen unless the EOR works to demand it or make it happen. Some states or jurisdictions do have a preapproved inspector category - I believe the codes states that the inspectors are to be approved by the jurisdiction, though a small number of local authorities would know who is qualified or not. The EOR's responsibility is to define what the SI 's are to be -- the Statement of Special Inspections as defined in the code. Performing those inspections would certainly not be in the EOR's responsibility unless contracted that way. (the code does allow for that to happen) Or at least you will want to make sure your agreements or contracts are written such that SI is not included in the base. CASE has long been a proponent of the EOR doing the SI, but we need to make sure we are paid for this work, and CASE is interested in engineers getting more fee. It is in our best interest, of course, to make sure the inspections happen. We work with the owner to make sure it does happen - this is not always easy.

Now that SI is becoming a bit more mainstream, the latest challenge has been finding qualified special inspectors and getting them to provide inspection reports to us as the EOR. Our specs are now focused on defining qualifications and reporting requirements. The required special inspections are defined on the drawings in the Statement of SI.

Would love to hear how others are handling qualifications and reporting.

*Brad Hughes*   PE, LEED AP


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Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 19:33:29 -0500
From: Ricardo Gonzalez <ricardog(--nospam--at)>
Subject: EOR and Special Inspections and contracts

Hello Fellow Engineers,

It has been my practice to avoid performing Special Inspections except
those construction administration tasks that can also be categorized as
Structural Observations. For instance, I have no issues wearing the
Inspection hat for light frame residential construction when I observe
placement, footing excavations, shear wall nailing, etc. All other
Inspection tasks are to be performed by an outside agency. My problem is
that I have not clearly state that in my proposals/contracts; something I
am in the process of updating and correcting.

So that led me to read the "Guide to Special Inspections and Quality
prepared by CASE (Council of American Structural Engineers), and found
interesting things. Under the Roles and Responsibilities section, the
Structural Engineer of Record's (SER) "Special Inspections services
generally be performed under a separate contract directly with the
Owner." I have never done this. Not only that, but it makes the case for
SER to perform Special Inspections whenever they are able to.
it stresses that Special Inspectors be hired by the Owner or SER, and not
the contractor. YIKES! These are just a sampling of stuff found in this
document. This is a good read and recommend you taking some time to read
for yourself.

Don't get me wrong. I look forward to going to site visits and observing
work performed. I was under the impression that my site visit should be
done in accordance with Structural Observation requirements. That seems
give me some more leeway.

Anyways, just want to hear from you on your role as the Special
Observer. Do you have separate contracts when you wear the Special
hat? How do you handle assignment of the Special Inspector with Owners?
How does that get conveyed in your contracts?


Ricardo G. Gonzalez, P.E.
C S W | S T 2
CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, Inc.
45 Leveroni Court, Novato, CA 94949
Civil Engineering ? Structural Engineering
Planning ? Land Surveying & Mapping

main: 415-883-9850 fax: 415-883-9836
direct: 415-884-6442 e-mail: RicardoG(--nospam--at)
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