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International Work

International Work

International Work

Who has done international work?
Specifically done the design work in the U.S. for construction in a foreign country.
I have some general questions and maybe specific ones later on.
This would be for engineering work (structural, mechanical, electrical) pertaining to buildings.

Or if you have any links to helpful sources.

RE: International Work

I have done some international work.  Pavement design in South Africa, structural design in Hong Kong, geotechnical/structural in Bahamas. (I'm in US)

What's your question?

RE: International Work

Where do you get started concerning licensing?
What kind of code information is available?
Where do you go to get material availability information?

I guess I have big picture questions like the above for right now.  Any information would be helpful.  If you would prefer to discuss off site let me know.

RE: International Work

Licensing is hard, generally you would try to contact a local engineer to check and sign off.

Code information is normally easy to buy from the local standard shop, but local conditions is harder to find information on. I generally design it in my local code than try to convert it across to the other code. Sometimes the regions will accept any of the major codes as the basis for design.  

Don't understand your last question.

How could you do anything so vicious? It was easy my dear, don't forget I spent two years as a building contractor. - Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban

RE: International Work

Agree with rowingengineer.  Licensing will be a difficulty, depending on the country.  It won't be a quick proposition in any country.  In each of my short international tasks, the locals accepted my US state licensing...that's not always the case, though.

As for material availability, local contractors usually know these things.

RE: International Work

Ok I'm a bit slow, Material availability can be found out by many means, start with your local reps they noramlly know whom is the equivlent in other countries.  

How could you do anything so vicious? It was easy my dear, don't forget I spent two years as a building contractor. - Priscilla Presley & Ricardo Montalban

RE: International Work

As per RowingEngineer's comment - We have always engaged a sub-consultant in the local market for detail design phase and signing off.  In lower cost markets, such as certain countries in Latin america and Asia, there are some (hard to find) decent consultants that do this work fairly well.  You are generally dealing with a different language too.

Our clients were happy to engage us with knowledge of this agreement where we would complete concept and developed design (generally to US standards and at a slightly higher level of finishing that might normally be done) and oversee/review the detail phase - allowing that there might be a few amendments by the local consultant.

We did major equipment specifications, sequences and they would produce general specifications in the local language and translate drawing notes etc.

To minimize rework, we held a few early conference calls and discussed local code differences, brands/equipment availability or other peculiarities in the local market.

Note that we have only got this work for specialist services in an extended client relationship.  eg.  Data center work with a major US based client in an overseas office.

RE: International Work

The country is English speaking.
There is a professional engineer's commission and archtiect's commission.

If we were to go with a local entity to carry through on the design, where would we start looking?


RE: International Work

Therein lies the difficulty.  You have to find someone who is capable enough to be effective in the role, but not competitive enough to take the work from you once they get to know the client.  If you are a mid-sized consultancy, you don't want to be calling up Jacobs, CH2M or Arup to help you out.

Hard to say how to look without knowing which country, we usually use industry contacts - people we know from there who might know a few names.

RE: International Work

would help if you gave the country.  

"A safe structure will be the one whose weakest link is never overloaded by the greatest force to which the structure is subjected" Petroski 1992

RE: International Work

We are moving forward with tracking down contacts with ties to the country.
Our first potential international project is going to be done with someone with experience.
Thanks for all the information

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