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Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.
7

Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
What happen is I attended a meeting where the City was redlining an engineer calculations over an interpretation of the ACI. The two city PE's was asking the Building Official (a non PE) to back them up. I pointed out the Arizona laws (ARS 9-802) required all referenced codes to be adopted by the AHJ and three copies to be made available to the public. Also that the City only did this with the IBC/IRC. So that the interpretation of the ACI must meet the Engineering Rules of applying the ACI as other qualified PE's would and not the Building Official. The city PE's and the Building Official stated that the City sees the ACI as under the Building Official authority to interpret and that was that.

The Building Official did side with the EOR and not the City PE's in this case.

Now I contacted the Arizona Board about this. The one person I seem to only be able to talk to keeps on stating that the Board has no authority over the City. I have mention and e-mailed that it is the City PE's that need to be properly dealt with regarding this. I am now trying to find out who to complain to about the Board.

I was wondering what other PE's on the forum thinks about what I am doing?

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

woodman88,
I'm not sure I follow your issue with the city.
Are you saying that this particular city adopted the IBC but somehow didn't adopt the ACI which it references?

Can you set out more logically what the disagreement is? Thanks,

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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

Sounds very complex and difficult to follow. I would suggest that if you think that the city PE's have conducted themselves unprofessionally than you need to followup with their boss if they have one. However this seems to be a case of interpretation of the ACI and whom has the right, this is a very grey area in most PE body's and I would suggest that the body would not have the capacity or want to deal with this issue.

Basically is the structure safe/unsafe with the cities PE input, if unsafe than you may get some people interested, if safe I doubt anyone cares.

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

of course an engineer may interpret the ACI code in a number of different ways and that is not a violation of board rules. simply asking a building official to side with them is not prohibited either. so not sure what the issue is with that. If you disagree with the (city development services engineer's) interpretation of ACI code, than contact ACI for clarification of the code.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
JAE

The problem (as I see it) is that the city PE's should do the work of an engineer by finding out how and when the ACI (etc.) are to be applied per the Engineering Rules. Not just asking the Building Official to agree with them.

In AZ a "code" must be part of the public record. The City only has the IBC/IRC as part of the public record. The IBC/IRC both clearly states that the state laws over ride any provisions in the IBC/IRC (see 2009 IBC Section 102.2) and the city did not change this section.

My problem here is that I may have cause the meeting to occur by telling and showing the EOR the State and City Laws. Then we went to the meeting with the EOR, his clients, other interested PE's and the City, just to have the City state the ACI is part of the Building Code (to be interpreted by a non PE) and not an Engineering Standard (to be interpreted by a PE's).

rowingengineer

May be, but I do not feel that I should allow this to be done until someone gets hurt before trying to it.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
cvg
In this case the ACI does not applies, even through the City PE's kept on bring the ACI up.

Per the ACI 318 08 "1.1.6 — This Code does not govern design and installation of portions of concrete piles, drilled piers, and caissons embedded in ground except for structures assigned to Seismic Design Categories D, E, and F. See 21.12.4 for requirements for concrete piles, drilled piers, and caissons in structures assigned to Seismic Design Categories D, E, and F."

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

what city?

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

woodman88, I also live and work in Phoenix. The most the plan reviewers have ever done with my calculations is to lose them, sometimes multiple times. Other, non Arizona cities, sometimes goes through the calculations.
But I wouldn't go to the Board. I don't think they're equipped to referee disagreements. And whatever the merit of your complaint, these city PEs are almost for certain going to take it the wrong way.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

Maybe I'm just totally dense here but if the IBC is adopted by a city, and the IBC references out to the ACI and makes it a part of the code provisions, then the ACI is a part of the code.

What is then the disagreement? The city doesn't have to formally adopt every reference found in IBC Chapter 35.
Or am I not seeing what the real issue is?

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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
JedClampett
I have gone to the Board and now I am trying to go over the Board.
This is not about an engineering disagreement, it is about applying the Arizona State Laws.
As for rocking the boat, I hope I will be able to.

JAE
The issue is that in Arizona ALL referenced codes have to be part of the public records. See the original post for the Arizona law that applies. For this reason the ACI, etc. are not in the building code, they are an engineering reference that only applies as stated in the building code.

The real issue here, as I see it, is that the city PE's can not give an engineering reason for what they are requiring. So they are running to a non-PE to approve it.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

The model suggested doesn't work. The code making bodies fund their work through sales of that work; so governments adopt them by referencing the copyrighted codes. This has been tested in the courts. By my read of 9-802, the adopting reference, not the code itself are to be in the public record. And the "or" in the three copy part means they don't need to have a copy of the code in question as long as they keep three copies of the public record. But I'd leave all these legalities to the lawyers and focus on the engineering. If you fail to make your case to the city, ask the code making body for an interpretation.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.


"9-802. Procedure for adoption by reference"
"may enact the provisions of a code or public record theretofore in existence without setting forth such provisions"
"At least three copies of the code or public record shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the municipality and kept available for public use and inspection. A code or public record enacted by reference may be amended in the same manner."

So, they adopt a code, or public record, "by reference," which means they only need to say, "use Code XYZ, section IJK, without the body of that reference. Given that some codes are copyrighted, that's the only they can do it. If they do so, they need to have 3 physical copies of the code, or public record, available for the public to use, again, due to limitations imposed by copyrights.

TTFN
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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
stevenal
IRstuff

Per the above link "A municipality may enact the provisions of a code or public record theretofore in existence without setting forth such provisions, but the adopting ordinance shall be published in full. At least three copies of the code or public record shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the municipality and kept available for public use and inspection. A code or public record enacted by reference may be amended in the same manner." The bold part is mine and not per the link.


If what you are saying it that they do not need to have copies of the ACI, then why do they have copies of the IBC and IRC available?

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

woodman88,

If the ordinance is referencing the ACI directly, then they need to have three copies of the ACI available, but what you've highlighted is not relevant pertinent, since all that means is they the publish, "Adopt ACI Para XYZ," etc., in full.

If it's not referenced directly, then they don't need to have the ACI available.

TTFN
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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

But how can any agency back-check or comment on any set of structural calculations without an applicable code or approved standards (based on the codes) to reference? Whether or not the ACI code is applicable in this particular case is really totally irrelevant. A physical copy should still be available for other projects that do need it...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
My issue is that the Building Official has the authority to enforce the Building Code. As shown below (per the Arizona Revised Statutes) we the people have a free right to see these codes. So where is the public copy of the ACI?

Per the ARS
"9-832. Regulatory bill of rights
To ensure fair and open regulation by municipalities, a person:...
...7. May inspect all ordinances, codes and substantive policy statements of a municipality, including a directory of documents, at the office of the municipality or on the municipality's website as provided in section 9-837..."

"9-837. Directory of documents
The municipality shall publish, or prominently place on the municipal website, at least annually a directory summarizing the subject matter of all currently applicable ordinances, codes and substantive policy statements. The municipality shall keep copies of this directory and all substantive policy statements at one location. The directory, ordinances, codes, substantive policy statements and any materials incorporated by reference in the documents shall be open to public inspection at the office of the municipality or the municipal website..."

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
JAE

NO!

We have a Building Code and we have engineering standards. I want the Building Official to enforce the Building Code and let the Engineering Profession to enforce the engineering standards. I do not want the engineering standards to become part of the Building Code for each Building Official (whether they are a PE or a non-PE) to decide how to apply them for their own AHJ. How the engineering standards are applied should be by the States PE's.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

I guess I don't see the distinction between the IBC itself and its referenced codes and standards indicated in Chapter 35.

IBC 2012, section 102.4 states: Referenced Codes and standards - The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference and as further regulated in Sections 102.4.1 and 102.4.2.

Its commentary states: A referenced code, standard or portion thereof is an enforceable extension of the code as if the content of the standard were included in the body of the codes...

Section 104 is pretty clear that the Building Official has the responsibility and authority to render interpretations, etc.

So from the above, I don't see the difference between the IBC and its referenced standards with respect to a building official making judgements. You can perhaps have a point that some (many?) elements of ACI 318 might be above the head of the BO, but this language in the IBC is pretty direct.

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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
JAE

2012 IBC Section 102.2 Other laws
"The provisions of this code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of local, state or federal law."

If the state says copies must be made available then the copies must be made available.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

2
I'm just not sure what your intent is with this. I seriously doubt that the city is required by the ARS to provide three copies of ACI for public use which happens to be referenced in addition to the three copies of the IBC. And even if they do, so what? you should have your own stinking copy of the ACI and not rely on the city being a lending library. shell out the money and buy one, or is there some other reason this has become such a big deal?

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

This would be a good string for the Engineering Writers Guild...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

woodman88....read chapter 1 of the IBC. It says that reference standards (ACI 318) are as if fully contained within the code. If the code is adopted by the City, so is ACI 318. Not severable by the AHJ

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
Well I am starting to understand the ASCE's Raise the Bar Initiative. It would be nice to have some PE's who can actually read the codes and standard regarding engineering.

cvg

I have the ACI, IBC, ASCE, NDS, AISC, etc. in my home library. In my garage I have engineering books going back to the 70's, when I was at school.

Ron

I have read the IBC Chapter one. As noted above in one of my posts (if you bother to read them) you should read the section on Other Laws.


Now for anybody who is willing to read and comment on following laws. (and I feel that in the United States that the people have a right to see the laws that are being enforced by the government) The intent here is that I feel that a non-PE should not be making engineering interpretations.

2012 IBC

Section 102.2 Other laws

The ARS

9-802 Procedure for adoption by reference

9-832. Regulatory bill of rights

9-837. Directory of documents

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

The IBC clearly states that the referenced standards, codes, documents, recipes, etc. are a part of the code itself.
If a building official, who is not a PE, is indicated as the AHJ, then they have the authority to interpret the codes. This is explicitly stated within IBC.

The idea that they don't have that authority because they aren't PE's isn't an established fact and that seems to be your contention.

I would agree with you, woodman88, that some building officials who are not PE's may not have the full education, experience, etc. to fully understand the referenced standards.
But that fact doesn't diminish the fact that they still have that authority.

If Arizona has a law that says that "copies should be made available" then that STILL does NOT nullify the building official's authority.

I still fail to see the validity of your point here that a PE has some inherent transcendent authority above the building official due to their status as a PE .
I'm trying - really I am. But its not that complicated.



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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
JAE

It is not that complicated.

You just have to be willing to read and understand the sections of the laws I pointed out above.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

I think you are over-reaching on the law. Almost all complex codes and standards reference other codes and standards. I don't see how the law as cited requires that the city is required to maintain copies of those codes and standards. They are only required to maintain copies of the codes directly referenced by the law. What the code itself says about other codes it references is not a legal mandate relative to the city's law.

TTFN
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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
Very good IRstuff
As the ACI etc. are not a legal mandate relative to the city's law they are not under the authority of the city.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

3
Woodman88, considering you came here for help, your attitude isn't helping matters.

In regards to your OP, I first fail to see why this is an ethics problem. It appeared that you were the EOR who performed some calculations per ACI and the city engineers disagreed with your calculations or interpretations of the ACI. The city engineers ask the Building Official (BO) who isn't a PE for assistance, but they sided with the EOR. You feel that since the city engineers wanted to get support by the BO that they should be punished, because the BO isn't a PE? Depending on the goverment agency, many times the person signing a permit or in a position over the city engineers will NOT be an engineer. That doesn't mean that their input is not valid, however.

It now sounds like you want the State board to go after the city engineers (what you want them to loose their license?). It sounds like your plan of attack against these engineers is the fact that they don't have 3 copies of ACI for public view. Did you make certain that the city didn't adopt some of the State rules without any changes which may have included the ACI? If so, then the State would be required to have the copies, not the individual cities.

All in all, however, this seems like a petty lame attack on the city engineers who were just trying to do their jobs. You had a disagreement with the city engineers, they were over-ruled and the EOR won, GET OVER IT AND QUIT WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
Look at it this way.

You have a client who used joists in a residential sleeping area design for 30 psf live load. Which is allow in the IBC and the ASCE 7. These joists will not work with a 40 psf live load. Would you seal the calculation for the 30 psf live load even if the AHJ (Per the IBC Section 102.2) has an amendment changing the required live load in sleeping areas to 40 psf?

Now let's say the Building Official (a PE) at the AHJ interprets that as the IBC and the ASCE allow the 30 psf live load they will allow it as long as a PE seals it. Would you seal it?

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
Okay the ACI is part of the Building Code and I apologize.

Now can someone explain to me my misinterpectation of the Arizona State Laws

The ARS

9-802 Procedure for adoption by reference

9-832. Regulatory bill of rights

9-837. Directory of documents

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

I'm losing the bubble here. The city is under no obligation under state law to keep copies of the ACI, since it is not directly referenced by their adoption by reference of the Building Code. They are only obligated to keep copies of the Building Code itself.

TTFN
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RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
I am not saying they have to have copies of the ACI. I was saying that to say that the ACI is part of the Building Code (so they would have authority to interpret) they would have to have copies.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

I would agree with you that IF they were attempting to interpret the ACI then yes they would need to have copies (at least one) elsewise what would they be interpreting.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
jayrod12

We all have a copy of the ACI. It is whether the Building Department is required to have three copies of the ACI available to the public (per the ARS) because they are stating the ACI is in the Building Code for them to have the authority to interpert.

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

Don't need a paper copy to know what the code is. When I buy a pdf from IHS Global, it comes with the condition that it not be shared outside my organization. How does one know for sure what the inspectors have access to internally?

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

(OP)
IRstuff

I am sorry but are you saying that the ACI is not part of the Building Code. Or are you saying it is part but they do not need to have three copies available per the ARS 9-802?

Garth Dreger PE - AZ Phoenix area
As EOR's we should take the responsibility to design our structures to support the components we allow in our design per that industry standards.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

Quote (woodman88)

You have a client who used joists in a residential sleeping area design for 30 psf live load. Which is allow in the IBC and the ASCE 7. These joists will not work with a 40 psf live load. Would you seal the calculation for the 30 psf live load even if the AHJ (Per the IBC Section 102.2) has an amendment changing the required live load in sleeping areas to 40 psf?

Now let's say the Building Official (a PE) at the AHJ interprets that as the IBC and the ASCE allow the 30 psf live load they will allow it as long as a PE seals it. Would you seal it?

The answer to your question depends on what is required by the building code for the city/State, but remember they can only enforce the least stringent requirement. I'd agree that a 40 psf live load gives a higher factor of safety than 30 psf, but is it required? If you personally think that 30 psf is not sufficient, then you need to tell your client that even though the building code only requires 30 psf you will not certify the design unless they use 40 psf joints.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

The IBC and corresponding state building codes reference over 400 standards, including ACI 318, ACI 530 and ASCE 7....all of which are voluminous codes in their own right. Most building departments are not going to have budgets sufficient to maintain a library of reference standards; however, they certainly should keep copies of the most commonly referenced and interpreted standards/codes such as 318,530 and ASCE 7. If they are going to interpret such standards/codes, it should be required that they have qualified staff to do so.

I firmly agree that engineers should not be at the mercy of interpretations by unqualified lay persons. In my state, if an engineer's judgment is overruled by an unqualified lay person, the engineer has an obligation to point out, in writing, that his judgment has been overruled (this commonly happens with City/County Commissions who make decisions contrary to an engineer's recommendations). I see no difference here.

Arizona has a similar provision:

AR 4-30-301, subparagraph 11:

11. If a registrant’s professional judgment is overruled or not adhered to under circumstances where a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare may result, the registrant shall immediately notify the responsible party appropriate building official, or agency, and the Board of the specific nature of the public threat.

Since the building official is, essentially, the offending party here, I would think the same applies; however, Arizona's statutes leave a lot to be desired in the qualification and authority of a building official. It seems to be left to local ordinance to set at their whim. That's unfortunate for the public and this is where the Arizona Board of Engineers should be screaming for revision, definition and interpretation of plans review processes and the building code.

RE: Arizona State Board for Engineers not doing their job.

I would suggest the following, to engineers in any field:

1) If your municipal reviewer is demanding you do something with your engineering plan that's not to code, but it doesn't endanger the public in any way, go ahead and do it, just document why you did it. This is because:

2) You're going to have to maintain a friendly relationship with the guy to get approvals on future projects, and

3) If you piss the guy off then he's going to make your life a headache on all future projects in his purview.

..however..

4) If the municipal reviewer is demanding you do something with your engineering plan that's not to code AND is also a danger to the public, then explain to him why you did it the way you did it, in as non-confrontational way as possible. If that doesn't work,

5) ..write him a letter and copy his boss, about why the way he wants to do it is a danger to the public, and why you can't meet both your ethical obligations as an engineer and his demands simultaneously. Mention politely that the letter may be a public record, and if something went wrong with the engineering plan (or other engineering plans submitted by other engineers) that were forced by the municipality to be done in such a way as to endanger the public, and the thing failed, then the media might get a hold of this letter, and that might adversely impact their job. Put them on notice, basically.

6) If that doesn't work, walk away slowly.

The truth is reviewers and government agents sometimes aren't particularly good design engineers, and they sometimes don't follow their own laws, but as long as they're not presenting a danger to the public, it's just flat easier to give them what they want than it is to argue with them, because human nature is to entrench a position during an argument.

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