×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Jobs

I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/
32

I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
I don't mean to rant here but I must ask the structural engineers out there a few simple questions that are getting on my nerves. First I've been a structural steel detailer for 33years and I've never seen the industry so sad as I do today. May I ask how it is you feel comfortable releasing your design contract drawing without a single dimension, all while the architect has a full blown grid layout? Is this pure laziness or am I missing the reason behind doing this? Today I had enough of seeing this so I stated to the fabricator, who was requesting a price, "Can you imagine I release my shop drawings for fabrication without a single dimension"? Here's another one....I have a small job that's been on going for TWO YEARS and it's now on it's 6th redesign. I finally had enough and being nice I asked the EOR why 2years later we are moving steel to attach to existing col's. His response was, "Because existing conditions did not allow us to sit on the wall as originally planned". My response was, "Aren't you the one that provided the original building design drawings but 2years later you're now realizing this is a problem"? All I heard was.."well...well". I'm sorry but I'd like to do nothing more than form a committee where we can report this. It's my opinion that more than half the engineers today should not have a valid professional license to practice. Not that I want harm for anyone ever but the industry has turned into a disgrace, but my bet says all PE's will have some validation why it is this way...no? Lets see the excuses come.

Funniest one ever that I will never, EVER forget in my lifetime. I was requesting a curb cut for an RTU unit for layout dimensions. The cut sheets I received was about 6 pages long but the cover letter stated, "GAS FIRED CHILLER FRAME". What's wrong with that statement for a roof top unit? I call the fabricator, he believes they sent the wrong package set by mistake. Nope...not so. The EOR designed the roof support for the floor mounted gas unit. Next thing I know is the entire roof is all wrong with a complete redesign, ohh I made them pay dearly for this blunder. The real roof unit had pipe work underneath that required a dunnage system as well, talk about a blunder. I doubled the price out of frustration due to incompetence. Who designs a roof for a gas unit? Turned into quite a joke with the fabricator for months and you all don't realize we bring this up often amongst other trades and your name is not spoke highly of, get there early next job site meeting. I'm sorry but if you can't put a single dimension on your drawings, while the architect can, or you design a roof for a floor mounted gas unit you have no business being a PE!! I don't know what I can do to stop this but I plan to advocate highly that it needs to be corrected. My first phone call is to the attorney general to file a complaint that they need to fix this!

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I hear something roughly like this every few days from the more experienced/senior members of the steel fabrication company where I work. One of the funny/tragic comments that's often repeated is something along the lines of "nowadays, engineers and detailers are becoming glorified 3D modelers, completely devoid of construction or field experience." The other comment I hear is "engineers of record no longer feel ashamed of bad designs. It's just a part of doing business now." There are just too many stories. I think it's all relative to a desire to cut costs a much as possible, but the blunders ultimately end up costing far more than the original bids after multiple redesigns. Communication is also a major problem. Half the time, the EOR's oral and written abilities are quite poor (either from being in a second language setting or communication is not their strong suit). They learned to pass the PE exam, not how to be an effective engineer. That's the game universities and publishing organizations play to make money.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

5
Now I'm not here to defend sub standard work, however you're blaming engineers solely.

The biggest contributing factor to the quality of drawings going out isn't that we don't care, it's that the prime consultants sell the owners on a ridiculous timetable, and then proceed to allow major layout changes by the client right up until the last minute.

So the entire design process gets messed up and everything is rushed. The drawings that get released for bid are barely enough information, but it's just enough to get a permit and pricing.

Your complaints about us, are the quite similar to our gripes with architects and clients.

And I'm not trying to start a pissing match, but you are obviously an experienced detailer. Have you seen some of the ludicrous RFIs the young detailers are sending through?

There was a time when a large building could be done in just a couple of drawings sheets. Now every sub contractor expects a detail for every tiny little thing.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Regarding dimensions, we don’t generally provide dimensions. The architect is lead consultant, and we work to their dimensions, and only provide critical dimensions where necessary.

I haven’t been around 33 years, but the old structural drawings I look at seem to follow the same philosophy.

It’s a chain of command thing. We follow the architect.

Occasionally an architect isn’t warranted and we act as lead consultant, in which case we do dimension the job.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I'm not usually a building engineer but, when I've done the occasional building, only the architect's drawings have been allowed to show grid setout. The structural drawings are for details, not dimensions It's not especially convenient when checking them but it helps cut down discrepancies. Similar vein, steelwork fabrication drawings aren't especially convenient for reviewing IMO but they serve their purpose.

I've heard of developers using their market power to bully engineers into onerous contracts such as any change of <10% floor area doesn't warrant additional fee. So redrawing the whole job for free. Unfortunately engineers know someone else will do it if they don't - we should be smarter.

I too have seen some clangers on shop drawings...

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

2
Roof Top Units change so often on a job through it's iteration that if you're not careful you end up designing and detailing 20 different configurations. From a structural point of view, these items are big dumb boxes that need to be tied down for wind loads and have sufficient supports to resist it's imposed loads. If I am able to get an architect or MEP consultant to put down an email the width, height, length and weight of the equipment before we are in permitting it's a miracle in itself. Even with that it's likely to change in all of those properties once a GC get's involved and recommends changes.

In liue of calling the attorney general, however, there is a much simpler method for fixing the industry. Due to the overwhelming lack of qualified EOR's in your market I expect that you could venture out on your own and completely corner the market. I expect that in a few years time Ken62465 & Associates will be the premier Structural Engineering Consulting company in the world!

I have the same complaints of sub-par engineering services being provided, and accordingly also have similar complaints for sub-par general contracting, architectural and owner representative services. What I don't have, however, is the expectation that I understand the intricacies involved with each of the other disciplines involved in our industry. I am sure if we started a thread where the Engineer of Records discussed the crazy stuff we have seen fabricators and contractors do we would have a lot of replies.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@jayrod12 I do see that side to this but even detailers get confronted with this timetable from the fabricator we work for so it goes both ways. I personally refuse to succumb to the mind set that pushing out terrible workmanship is acceptable, and then use the excuse the schedule dictated that to happen. I've pulled many late nights to maintain schedule while also keeping the quality of my workmanship one step ahead of the next guy. If it seems like I'm solely blaming the EOR it's on account of working off their drawings daily. I can honestly see that pattern you describe when I often get contract drawings marked "Bid Set", I'm already saying, "Here we go again". It's a shame really that it's allowed. I also send out my fair share of RFI's but all warranted due to missing info. I don't care about finish work that's not involving me but if a brickshelf system has a section cut and nobody provides an in/out dimension and elevation you're getting an RFI and in my opinion should know better that it's coming for not providing the info in the first place. Why skimp on workmanship, someone is only going to get hounded to provide it eventually and it will only cause delays if it's not provided.

Another very bad practice going on, although frankly architects are the biggest violators of this one. If I do not send out an RFI, because of time constraints, I ask "PLEASE PROVIDE" on my submittal drawings. Why are these question just ignored nearly every single project? That's not an overstatement either as I bet I could get every fabricator I've worked for to chime and chuckle how true that. I now tell each and every fabricator to include in their cover letter a statement that if the requested information is not provided delays will incur until it is provided. Seriously folks how can either member of the design team see a requested dimension for a missing beam location and completely ignore it? Nearly every job I have to call and say, "What are these people doing"?


@Tomfh if you don't put plan dimensions on your drawings you may want to read the AISC, "Code of Standard Practice". Let me ask you this...beams framing out a stairwell...do you just ignore locating plan dimensions on those? Who's suppose to provide those? Again the AISC is pretty clear on their position about this. The jobs I can recall that were GREAT projects all began with the quality of contract drawings. I've often said of the bad projects..shit in = shit out. Those bad jobs I hate attending job site meetings because generally there's not a happy sub on the job and for legit reasons. The buck and blame will be passed but I refuse to allow my workmanship to fall prey to that mentality.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I could write a post about three times as long about garbage I've seen from detailers, but then I'll just sound like an angry old man.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quite the rant.

Quote (Ken62465)

May I ask how it is you feel comfortable releasing your design contract drawing without a single dimension, all while the architect has a full blown grid layout? Is this pure laziness or am I missing the reason behind doing this?

While we'll generally show dimensions, the reason is in the question. Contractors and subcontractors should be using the ENTIRE set of plans. Not just structural. If the dimensions are in the architectural drawings, it'd redundant to show them in structural. On jobs we don't show grid dimensions on, we make sure to note that the architectural drawings are considered to be a part of the structural design drawings.

A couple reasons we do this. First, as a structural engineer I typically don't really care if grids vary by a few inches in either direction but architect definitely does. So on some projects we try to let them drive so they can tweak an inch here or there as they need. Second, architects now like to tweak things including locations of major elements right up until the last minute. Not by enough to impact their design from a structural standpoint, but definitely enough to impact fabrication. When they do that we end up with conflicting information on the drawings. So we have to make a call for each job on what causes more confusion: dimensions changing constantly and things not being coordinated, or only showing dimensions on architectural and making the structural subs review those drawings (which they really should be doing anyways).

Quote (Ken62465)

Here's another one....I have a small job that's been on going for TWO YEARS and it's now on it's 6th redesign.

I'm not aware of any structural engineers who actually enjoy redesigning things six times. I certainly don't enjoy it. It's very rarely our choice to do this and often we're just as frustrated about it as you are (also we often don't get paid for it). Usually it's the architect still tweaking their design or sometimes the owner/developer not looking at anything until the last second and making changes.

Quote (Ken62465)

I finally had enough and being nice I asked the EOR why 2years later we are moving steel to attach to existing col's. His response was, "Because existing conditions did not allow us to sit on the wall as originally planned". My response was, "Aren't you the one that provided the original building design drawings but 2years later you're now realizing this is a problem"? All I heard was.."well...well".

Existing conditions change all the time. Building owners make changes and use different designers and different contractors with varying degrees of documentation. We can survey the buildings before hand to try to prevent this but we have to get owners to pay for that first (spoiler alert: they won't). With this one only being two years old there shouldn't be too much of that, but it's entirely possible the contractor who built it didn't completely follow the plans. I see that all the time too. I review existing drawings before all my renovations and I always find something that isn't what the drawings say it should be. Always.

Quote (Ken62465)

It's my opinion that more than half the engineers today should not have a valid professional license to practice.

I can get behind this. Means more work for me.

Quote (Ken62465)

Funniest one ever that I will never, EVER forget in my lifetime. I was requesting a curb cut for an RTU unit for layout dimensions. The cut sheets I received was about 6 pages long but the cover letter stated, "GAS FIRED CHILLER FRAME". What's wrong with that statement for a roof top unit?

I'm a structural engineer, I have no idea. I'd have to ask the mechanical engineer. If the point being made is that most mechanical engineers doing work on buildings are terrible then I agree.

Quote (Ken62465)

The EOR designed the roof support for the floor mounted gas unit. Next thing I know is the entire roof is all wrong with a complete redesign, ohh I made them pay dearly for this blunder. The real roof unit had pipe work underneath that required a dunnage system as well, talk about a blunder.

The structural engineer likely designed the roof for whatever the mechanical engineer was showing.

Quote (Ken62465)

My first phone call is to the attorney general to file a complaint that they need to fix this!

I'm not sure why you'd do this. You said yourself that you doubled your price for the trouble, so sounds like it worked out well for you. Charge more and tell the owner they need to get their designers in line.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

When you say you want dimensions, are you talking about accurate dimensions that you can detail off of or approximate dimensions? I put dimensions on most of my drawings but constantly have a CYA note about seeing the Architect drawings or field measuring for fabricating purposes. When the project is all mine, there are dimensions however some of them are required to be field measured when it is an existing building. Let me list a few reasons why I have to CYA my dimensions and why you may make the same comments about me but I would not intend to change how I do it unless some things also change. Unfortunately, the reason you are affected more is because you are on the end of the drawing line before the next step of physically cutting and fabricating a piece of steel. If there was a drawing step after you, you would most likely slide the headache on down the assembly line like we do. Also, I used to field measure, design, draw both engineering drawings and part drawings. I know exactly what you are up against. But for me, I charged for my time, I did not do it for free.

New Construction or Old Construction.
1. Architect drawings are dimensioned WRONG. An 8" block will is drawn as 8", not 7.625" but there are 4 of these walls that they are not dimensioning to the center of, or all to the left face but are dimensioning to the wall, the incorrect width of the wall etc. So now my 4" tube column in not aligned correctly in the wall. All wood framed walls are 6" wide, another common incorrect dimension. I realize there are ways to work around this such as dimensioning to outside faces or centerlines but they do not draw in that fashion. I can still do my structural design with the incorrect dimensions but you cannot fabricate based on them.
2. Due to CAD, people make more changes and do not cloud the changes. In the paper days, versions were released, marked up and corrected and documented. Now I get CAD files emailed to me daily with no reference of what actually changed from the previous version. You have to look for the changes. You cannot measure everything with CAD because sometimes they just change the dimension text. 9' becomes 9'-3" with no actual drawing change other than the text. Also, they make some change that does not affect me and 3 others at all and then resend the entire set of drawings to all of us. Easier to just email everyone all drawings rather then sending 2 drawings to 1 person.
3. They dimension to things that are not designed yet such as to the outside face of a round column while also having a center line grid mark for that column. Later we size the column and it is a 10" pipe not a 6", which measurement has to change?

Existing Construction
1. The person who field measured did a sub-standard job. Good enough for architecture or engineering is not good enough for fabricating. When I had to measure my own stuff, I did a bang-up job of field measuring. My drawings had dimensions. When someone else field measured, I CYA myself with Kevlar.
2. Everyone assumes the existing building is square, plumb, level and perfect. I know otherwise from a lot of past experience of actually checking them

I have other reasons, but these are enough to illustrate my point. Also I would easily design a roof for a gas unit, I only size the structural members, not select the units. You need to go to a mechanical forum for that complaint. It is not all structural engineers fault. Your complaints went from dimensions to things unrelated to structural engineering. I will probably read a rant next week about how the Attorney General won't create a task force to combat structural engineering sloppiness.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

3
@Ken62465 Just some friendly advice here. I believe a vast majority of the folks on this forum care quite a lot about the quality of the product we produce. Know your audience.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (Ron247)

ou cannot measure everything with CAD because sometimes they just change the dimension text. 9' becomes 9'-3" with no actual drawing change other than the text.

As a corollary to this, many architects have their rounding on dim lines turned on to the nearest 1/4", resulting in overall building dimensions being bigger or smaller than the sum of the distances between column lines. Just a teensy bit frustrating.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (winelandv)

Just a teensy bit frustrating.
To put it mildly....

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (Ken62465)

I'm sorry but if you can't put a single dimension on your drawings, while the architect can, or you design a roof for a floor mounted gas unit you have no business being a PE!!

Please post 3 or 4 drawings that do not have "a single dimension" by either written note or actual dimensioning. I do not think I have ever seen one that did not have even 1 dimension.

Also, floor and roof mounted can mean the same thing. It is supported from below versus supported from the side (wall mounted). Also to support from above could be called ceiling mounted or roof mounted. Its that terminology thing we get involved in many times in this forum.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

2
Ken62465, you've struck a nerve among EORs that do 'give a S#@%'...."walk a mile in someone else's shoes"...

I recommend you take a different approach going forward. The next time you come across an EOR that you have seen before, pick up the phone, reminisce about projects and otherwise talk shop for a few minutes, get to know them, ask if they have kids/family/vacation plans, and then ask, politely, why he/she has done something the way they have. Chances are, you will either A) gain insight into why they've done it that way, or B) you will have given them a polite nudge to straighten up without saying those words and offending directly.

My two cents: Omitting dimensions is almost never laziness. Rather, it stems from the litigious society we live in. Many of us are taught by our employers' professional liability insurance carriers to 'never ever ever ever' dimension something in two locations within the same drawing set. "Set" as in "all involved disciplines". If someone you are working for (i.e. architect) has already dimensioned the column bay, or a mechanical plan shows a gigantic pipe, as the EOR you'd better show it generically, but not show that exact distance on the structural drawings because doing so takes ownership, and liability, of the building layout and another disciplines' work.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

When these threads pop up I go with the old saying "When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you." I hate to break it to you but your drawings 30 years ago were not better you simply are not remembering the mistakes,confirmation bias.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I think Jayrod12 hit it on the head...ridiculous timetables. Never have so many been asked to do so much with so little, and so fast. I'm constantly getting partial updates of A drawings without MEP, no cuts for ANY equipment. If I do get MEP it's usually a lot of boilerplate and the rest work in progress. If existing building drawings exist the architect will send only the sheets that THEY think I need...changes right up to the end, late submittals with requested turn arounds in hours, not days...it goes on and on. And in the end I can't half blame the architect for the schedules because the owner will find someone else that will make the promise.

Time is in fact money. (a.k.a. You can have it fast, right or cheap...pick two).

Analog spoken here...

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I agree with Ken on this one.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

MrHershey; Thanks for the information on why you don't always dimension grid lines. I've always wondered that and your explanation makes a lot of sense.

I detail concrete formwork and do a lot of layout drawings for our clients. I have to say that there are many of times when I PREFER fewer dimensions. I'm thinking specifically of steel pan decks. If I have the edge of slab dimensions, opening dimensions, max slab span, and a beam schedule, I'm happy to figure out the pan layout; particularly around walls and deep beams/girders where a lug may be required.

Some contract documents are better than others. When we get a really good set of contract documents, I'll usually put a note to the design team right on my shop drawings indicating that the plans were fantastic and a pleasure to work with.

Occasionally, we get poor drawings. I just RFI what I don't know and go on with my life.

Someone suggested calling the EOR directly. I have had mixed results with that. About half of them are happy to talk to me and the other half freak out and tell me to go through the contractor.

My only huge complaint about dimensioning on contract documents is when dimensions are to face of CMU. A lot of times it isn't clear if the CMU is shown as 7 5/8" or the old school 8". Other times it's very clear and then it doesn't matter if the dimensions go to face of CMU.

I get frustrated sometimes - just like everyone else in the world. But I always try to keep in mind that most people don't knowingly put their names on crummy work and it could just be a lack of education on one end or the other. I don't know everything about creating contract documents and I don't expect a design team to know everything about means and methods. We are all on the same side with the same goal - at the end of the day, everyone involved in a project wants a SAFE, successful, profitable project; we need to work together to that end and quit being antagonistic to each other.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I work in industrial, not AE, but my drawings are miles better than the old drawings I have to read when we work brownfield. Can't imagine CAD has made drawings worse.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
Was asked to see such a case of no dimensions. Here's one. Not a single dimension on any plan and they all were like this. Not even a set of architecturals accompnaied the structural set. Sorry I'm not posting the title block and naming specific parties that release this work. Job was a no start right off the bat then once the info was provided they discovered gas pipes not known to exist and that now was a year ago and the job died.



Here's another one...been dead for 3 months now while all are still waiting. How do we set schedule not knowing if and when this will come back alive? Then when it does they expect to jump through hoops like we are sitting here doing nothing but waiting for it. I don't know about you guys but I could NEVER release my work without a single plan dimension, never happened nor will it.


People don't think this issue is real?

@Rabbit12 that's ok I don't mind that label one bit. I look at it this way...changes in history started with a voice. Why not one be heard? Staying silent never helps to fix anything does it? Even on the flip side I'm always open to suggestions and ideas to make my own work better and suit the fabricators needs that I work for.

I'd even wager 1 out of the next 3 jobs that comes in will again have no dimensions.

This was never about more money to me for added work. It's about a smooth project and saving time with efficiency, every sub then benefits and the extras that are being passed onto your client for this could be saved. Take that "Gas fired Chiller" problem we encountered. That resulted in an added 8 days to do the roof over and add a galvanized dunnage support system. Those 8 days impacted my schedule, for not just that job but the next inline also paid the price, and I was forced to work many late nights to get back on track. That to me is not worth the extra money because all the fabricator is going to remember is things were late, and I find myself constantly saying, "a contract revision change is not my fault". That particular case should never have happened and the final cost was near double for all trades, was a fiasco and cost the owner dearly. If pushing out the work is a time constraint issue it's only going to cost even more money in the end so is it worth it? Penny wise pound foolish! I'm going to make a rough guess without pulling out my books that 75% of projects have extra charges for design changes, or completed work with added details of unknown steel during bid time. Yet time constraints is more important than costing your customer more money in the end? Maybe I'm living in a fantasy world in thinking this industry could become more efficient. But I fail to believe that change is not possible.

And yes to the comment about the old board drawing days. Honestly those days were faster than 3D modeling we have today as I use Tekla Structures, and happen to be told I'm officially the longest running US user so yes I'm old..lol. Take those two jobs I posted of not a single plan dimension. The old board drawing days we could rough it and fill in dimensions later, it was just a picture back then. That does not work in 3D modelling as you'll only end up doing the job over a 2nd time and this is simply just not done by any detailer I know. The drawings come from the accuracy of the model. I've actually tried a few times stating, "This is the price to get started with no dimensions as is, which means double the price if I have to move everything again once the dimensions are given". There are times when I get the architecturals and find the grid layout system there, which I'll gladly do but here's what the result is...means I'm going to be flipping back and forth and all trades hate the time they waste jumping around looking for info so I add 10% and call this my bullshit factor...lol..sorry that's the truth and all do it. Not putting plan dimensions is only costing more money. Speaking of flipping drawings...I also get structural drawings with little to NO sections at all. Next someone will ask for proof of that one to and I got it! Anyway again we're flipping through architecturals for the info so you just cost your client more money, that bullshit factor. It slows down the process. I'd love to post up one of my completed drawing sets to show how many sections I provide so the erector knows exactly what's happening and all related work he must perform. I even provide a final 3D drawing of the completed project for reference. It's just efficient and how it should be.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

On this side of the pond engineers do not provide dimensions either since we are not responsible for the set out of the building and that is explicit in our standard schedule of services. Architect provides figured dimensions so contractors need to review ALL drawings.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

5

Quote (canwesteng)

Can't imagine CAD has made drawings worse.

I think that CAD may have indeed made drawings worse. Although, much more so, I blame computers in general. Waxing philosophical:

1) I get the logistical and CYA reasons for not showing dimensions but, in my opinion, that doesn't change the fact that is is much, much nicer to work with a set of properly coordinated and dimensioned structural drawings. The root problem is that we simply don't have time for the coordination. And what's the root cause of that?. Technology I say! You know, in my best Luddite/Amish.

2) CAD robs us of the ability to coordinate drawings because it allows project participants to make last minute changes that are the death of good project management and coordination.

3) The effect of computers is more subtle and nefarious. Imagine work flow akin to a river passing by you. Inevitably, there will be log jams that will mess with the flow and create backlogs. And, obviously, a higher flow rate will produce larger backlogs. Before computers, work flow was much slower than it is today. Therefore, backlogs were much smaller than they are now and the human labor required to clear them was less. Nowadays, our backlogs are much greater in scale than they used to be, requiring great amounts of human labor to clear. It is this, I believe, that is the root cause of our perpetual time crunches that rob us of our ability to properly coordinate our work. The flow of work is just so fast now that inevitable glitches bury us mercilessly.

4) Fundamentally, I think that this all ties back to our inability to use technology properly as a species. At the time of the invention of the cotton ginny, it was predicted that we'd soon be lying around all day drinking margaritas while machines did our work for us. Instead, we now work more than ever it seems, and under incredible stress. Our tendency towards greed has led us down the path of working as fast as we possibly can, no matter what, rather than holding our needs constant and using technology to simply see those needs satisfied less laboriously. We're pissing in our own pool in this regard. We're all blaming one another for this and that's fitting given that we're all to blame.

In a perfect world, I think that somebody should be able to generate structural fabrication drawings from my structural drawings alone.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I want to write a big long response to this as others have done, but don't have time right now because I am busy dimensioning some of my drawings wink

I do see dimensions on both of those drawings though...

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

In my neck of the woods we dimension our plans always. Sometimes the architect doesn't dimension things other than room layouts. We always work with the architect to lay out the grids, tend to both show them on plans. At the end of the day the structure is built first, so it makes sense that grid dimensions are indicated on the structurals to me.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@MIStructE_IRE well on this side of the pond the AISC states in the "Code of Standard Practice"....

"structural steel design plans clearly showing the work to be performed and giving the size, section, material grade and location of all members, floor levels, column centers and offsets".

The two pictures I posted violate that. Beams framing a stairwell, almost no eor gives these dimensions but the above states "location of all members". Another violation. Then during submittal I'll try to figure out their location from the architecturals and finish work but I'm not responsible for this and I always state "PLEASE VERIFY" with a clouded flag. The drawings almost always are returned ignoring this.

I know one PE very well and he's on here, been waiting for his call on my post..lol. He's an exception and always provides plan dimensions and locates beams framing opening. I seldom have to hound him for info but he also knows the "Code of Standard Practice" like the back of his hand and I'll bet his response would be, "It's our job to provide dimensions".

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@structSU10 agreed! Just curious..do you also provide dimensions for beams framing floor opening? Roof rtu I consider a whole different animal and it was mentioned about that. Those units are settled on so late in the game it's just how that is, wish that could be changed as well. I'm usually doing drop in roof frames sometimes after the project is in the shop. I'm mainly asking about floor framed opening for stairwells, chase etc. Some dimension these but most do not leaving us to guess and figure it out, something I tell the fabricator that if I must layout this stuff I'm not responsible for it is my opinion and the AISC supports my statement.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@dauwerda if you see column centerline dimensions on those drawings that satisfies the AISC spec...then you're a god. They don't exist

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (KootK)

this all ties back to our inability to use technology properly

I agree 100%. I remember the carbon paper days before photocopiers existed. I worked at a place where there was an original and 3 carbons. The 3rd carbon barely legible. You had to be someone to get one of the 3 carbons available. If not, do without and we did quite fine. Along comes the Xerox as we called it an wow, everyone all of a sudden needs a copy. I worked with people that had to have a copy of anything that crossed their desk. I began to see a copier as creating work at times. I also have seen Engineers walk 30' past the copier to get the secretary to make them a single page copy and bring it to them later. I always made my own copy. Felt really sorry for the secretary. The copier increased their work load.

Ken, I see the 2 drawings you submitted and agree it would be far easier to detail the parts if someone had dimensioned the drawings more. But I do see dimensions in both drawings. I was mainly curious about not a single dimension but now you are saying a single plan dimension. Now that I have seen. But if someone has to spend time dimensioning the drawing, so be it. I do not design the beam length to the 1/16", I design it to a 3" multiple generally. So minor changes can occur and it does not change my design.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@Ron247 in my first post I did use the term "grid layout". But to be clear dimensions I'm meaning what every steel detailer will say is priority we need to even get started....the grid layout, or column centers. I honestly think that would have jumped out at anyone looking at those pics cause it's the first thing jumps out at me.

Ahh wait a minute..my bad. The first pic I posted the fabricators bid set he sent me. Take note the red dimensions...doesn't look like part of the contract set does it? It's because it's the fabricators bid scale dimension for pricing he marked up the pdf. Nobody even detected something fishy there? lol. Even the yellow is his take off for connection material. Take out what is obviously not part of those contract drawings and look at it again.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I would have no difficulty providing tyem - IF architects would stop changing stuff without telling us.

Two parties providing the same dimension when only one of those parties dictates the dimension, will inevitably lead to a discrepancy.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

The entire project is supposed to be a team effort and we should all improve it where we can. The Code of Practice looks like a good place for a legal argument LOL.

"Structural steel designs plans" does not necessarily mean the structural engineers drawing must contain ALL information. A simple note such as "See architectural drawings for dimensions" would allow the use of those drawings to get dimensions even by the Code of Practice.

There is no way for the structural engineer's drawing to reflect "ALL" requirements even though the Code of Practice says this. All requirements would include what is being detailed.

See the highlighted parts of the attached Code of Practice to about section 3.2 for excerpts related to this.

https://res.cloudinary.com/engineering-com/image/upload/v1562967202/tips/code-of-standard-practice-june-15-2016_Highlight-Copy_zyo1fj.pdf

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Ken; thanks for clearing up the first drawing. I looked at it and thought, "geez, I think this guy can't see the color red". LOL But I see what you are talking about.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Early in my career I worked on Architectural projects, long before CAD. As projects neared completion the Architect had coordination meetings where all disciplines exchanged and reviewed drawings. Our drawings were reviewed, commentated on, and returned to us to clear up before the bid sets were sent out.

Since the late 70’s I was primarily on industrial projects. I agree with canwesteng that we always included dimensions on our structural drawings. We had Architects in house and provided those drawings as well, often by the same drafters.

I retired as the transition to 3D CAD modeling was coming into play. So I have no idea how that has changed drawing sets.

gjc

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I would suggest you explore design-build. It's a different world, of course, with its own problems; but without a lot of the bits you mention.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@Ron247 to quote what you said "structural engineers drawing must contain ALL information"...now look at what I typed directly from the AISC book, in short and related to yours "location of all members". May I ask why that got changed from what I said? I'm not trying to be snotty to you Ron just factual because it looked taken out of context of what I said. Location of member to me would mean if there are beams framing out a stairwell please put dimensions locating these members, again most do not provide this. What almost always compounds the problem is if we ask on the submittal for "PLEASE PROVIDE" it's almost always ignored. I could post up plenty of returned approvals with tons of ignored LEGITIMATE information requests. Here's one and I'd honestly like an engineers opinion because imo it's a legitimate request. Take a brickshelf system. Do you provide an in/out dimension and elevation? Most don't and I'll hunt through the architecturals..count up brick courses...flip drawings and find window layout dimensions. When submittal time comes I always ask to verify the dimensions that "I" came up with. This is a highly ignored question. I swear the architect does not even look at approvals with the no comments and no stamp I see very often from them. Then the fabricator has to start chasing it because imo I asked for the info so what more am I to do but alert the fabricator we don't have these dimensions, or verified cases? If this is angering people the only view I can come to on that striking a nerve is, "I don't want to do that work"...and there lies the underlying problem and how it snowballs down into other trades, costing more money, and delaying job progress.

Yes that first pic I just recalled the job and clipped a quick snip and forgot all about the fabricator marking up the pdf for his own bid. I'll tell you this much, I had a laugh with him after he emailed that job over and did ask he stop sending me his take off version and send me the original unmarked pdf. Underneath some of his little yellow markings are moment connections..how'd he think I was going to know they were there? Could have been bad news had I not deleted a couple to see what was underneath. Called it a day and picked up the phone to please give me a proper drawing.

BUGGAR..I've done a whole bunch of design builds. They have there good and bad as well, usually nice clean box type jobs that I end up also doing lt ga. girts for. Mostly owner/architect changing stuff late in the game, and that comment was made by another and it's a valid one. The engineer I mentioned a few posts ago...worked with him on a number of design builds and he's one we each pick up the phone and call the other and we get stuff done, we don't do RFI's and usually my submittal set to him seldom contains a "PLEASE PROVIDE", that is a reflection of his own workmanship. Yes he does provide brickshelf in/out dimensions and elevations when the job contains such. I don't think I've ever had to call him for missing beam location dimensions, if I have it's surely the smallest count ever.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

First, my previous post was mostly meant in jest and you and Ron already hashed out what dimensions my comment was referring to.

Second,
I truly understand your frustration, I've found myself going through drawings thinking the same things. On the flip side I was part of a project in an industrial plant where the structural steel and foundation drawings were all dimensioned out as you would like to see them, so we're the general arrangement drawings, the GA's had a few incorrect dimensions. Things were built off of the GA. Major field modifications had to be made. Had only one set of drawings (the controlling drawings) been dimensioned, this mistake could not have been made. A 10% BS markup is much less to pay than the cost of major field modifications and redesigns.

In a perfect world we would have time to completely finish a design before any bid or even construction drawings are issued. In the real world, designs will always be from the top down and construction will be from the bottom up. Clients paying the bill are not willing to wait for a design to be completed before they start permitting and building. They secure a loan to build and start paying interest, they want their project completed yesterday so they can have revinue coming in, not going out. They view the completion date of a project being moved up by weeks or months (by ordering steel off of incomplete drawings due to lack of information/decisions on equipment and material finishes, for example) as being much more cost effective than ironing out a complete design (to avoid mistakes and cost markups for BS drawings) before starting the building process.
That is at least what I have been told by thd people holding the checkbook.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

As somebody who has worked in detailing I agree with many aspects in this rant. But at the same time it was a pretty ranty rant that didn't look at the bigger picture. There are sometimes very good reasons structural engineers don't include dimensions. In many projects this is for the architects, you don't want conflicting numbers so this is avoided by not giving any.

But in the majority of the professions you get the skilled and the not so skilled. Though one the whole this forum is probably populated by skilled professional engineers and some novice/student engineers. The duds don't spend their free time on engineering forums!

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

As was stated previously, dimensions can be a litigious issue. I had a project many years ago where the architect changed the overall building dimension by 2" without letting me know. I had the building dimensioned out, so my plans and his no longer matched. All subs except the floor tile installer had no problem with this. The tile guy made a big stink, and the architect had to come out of pocket to pay for it. Since then, that architect does not allow any of his consultants to include dimensions that he is already showing.

For the question about brick shelves, I gather you are referring to brick veneer over an opening or at elevated floor levels. Most of what governs the dimensions is architectural (brick veneer itself is architectural- not structural). What is the backer, insulation, air gap... none of this impacts the structural design in a significant manner. We can get an approximation for our support designs, but the exact dimensions should come from the architect.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Many times, it seems there is a large gap between what some people would like to see on the structural drawings and what is needed on those drawings. From what I'm reading in this thread, it seems that to avoid discrepancies, many dimensions are only shown on the architectural drawings, not out of laziness on the part of the structural engineer, but because it's not the responsibility or within the purview of the structural engineer to specify those dimensions. If the structural engineer's part is to size the beam and decide how it is connected to the columns, and not to dictate whether the distance between the columns is 25' - 2 3/8" or 25' - 4 1/4", then dimensioning the exact length is not his job. As long as the beam and the connections are strong enough for a 26' span (in case the architect decides to change a wall thickness somewhere along the way), then the structural engineer has done his job in that instance.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (Ken62465)

May I ask why that got changed from what I said?

Ken, I made a statement of my own, I was not quoting you, "misquoting you" or taking it out of context. It was my own statement.

Quote (Ron247)

"Structural steel designs plans" does not necessarily mean the structural engineers drawing must contain ALL information.
The above is my statement and the words "structural steel design plans" is in one of the versions of the Code of Practice.

I know you are frustrated but I NEVER took your statements out of context, edited them etc. You went from missing dimensions to non-structural complaints to complaints about not getting RFI responses. I understand all that too. You also cited the Code of Practice, I just cited passages that showed that not all information had to be on the structural drawings. Also, the Code of Practice is not a law, so no need for the Attorney General.

Also, I have gotten many RFI that I responded to with the drawing number and location of the information. In other words, the person requesting the information failed to see it on the drawing. I guess I could rant about that but then again we all make that mistake.

I think I am done with this thread.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Maybe before ranting about structural engineers being too lazy to dimension their drawings, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the various disciplines involved. As a structural detailer, perhaps you should also familiarize yourself with your own responsibilities. To my understanding, the exact dimensions for structural components would be details and therefore the responsibility of the structural detailer to take the required beam sizes, etc. and detail and dimension them according to the architectural drawings. Forgive me if my understanding of the architectural design process is in error; it's a different world than what we do in bridge design.

In our office, we engineers often check the details, so we often calculate (typically in a spreadsheet that gets reused over and over) and include many of the detailing dimensions in our designs and design sketches to facilitate checking the details. Of course, in our work there are no other discplines (architectural, mechanical, etc.) to coordinate with, other than the road designers, and sometimes the Geology guys, but there's little required coordination on that front.

In the past, for things like crossframes between girders, we would calculate the approximate unbraced lengths of the members in order to design them, and give the detailers the member sizes, but no lengths. They would draw them up to scale and dimension them. If an engineer checked the details, they would spot check the dimensions using trig, but that was about as far as it went. The squad leader (the engineer sealing the detail sheets) would check the details against the design to ensure, among other things, that the final member lengths were equal to or less than the lengths used for design. Rebar layouts were and still are the responsibility of the detailers, based on the required number of bars required by our designs.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Ken62465 my mate,

Engineers, like all people make mistakes. I'm sure you did as well as a junior, when fresh faced out of drafting school.

after 33 years in industry, I would expect that you have accumulated a lot of experience and are able to execute projects smoothly, though of course you aren't always on a project team with the same level of experience, and things don't always go as smoothly as you like.

Not sure why this sparks this much anger in you though - instead of getting upset, you should try to help the young engineers out. I sure would appreciate a few pointers from a grey-bearded steel detailer.

perhaps try reading or listening to some Eckhart Tolle, or Sadhguru, I find they help me find some calm, I have a bit of a hot temper as well, though its not a pleasant trait. No sense letting your blood boil over something rather than trying to create positive change.

cheers

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

We work on a lot of historic preservation. Often times, old buildings aren't plumb or square and are covered up by multiple layers of finishes. To handle this appropriately we size the structural members based on being within a few feet of the span, but the actual members need to be fabricated to correct length to meet the connection/support detail. We put +/- on the plans with a note to field verify. The contractor doing the work needs to measure and supply the dimension and needs to carry all cost to investigate and it only makes sense to do this after the demolition of finishes has been done. It is not the job of the steel fabricator's shop detailing to get those dimensions.

New structural construction is straight forward. those should have dimensions

New structural support for HVAC is problematic. Equipment support can't be fabricated until MEP is vetted out. Too often there is substitution of equipment. Structural Egrs get information on the equipment late from MEP and it often changes during the construction phase.



RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Just listened to Eckhart Tolle - "The Pain Body" a few days ago. Pretty interesting.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I'm a civil, not a structural, but I was the civil EOR for quite a few building projects including four full prisons, a bunch of prison expansions, several industrial sites, etc. The building grid usually didn't matter a lot to me because I mostly just needed the foundation perimeter(s), exterior doors and stoops, utility connections, and exterior equipment pads. However, for the industrial projects it mattered a lot because some of the building grids extended out into the "civil space" to align one or more equipment structures with one or more nearby buildings so that overhead pipe racks and piping would work. Regardless, for all these projects I was fully involved in the multi-discipline coordination and I got to see how the different architects coordinated with the other disciplines.

Several of the architects I have worked with over the years (but not all of them) have a standard practice to create a master building control xref for use by all disciplines. (This was back when everyone worked in their own drawings; now some teams work in the same drawings using Revit, but I have never done this.) This xref includes the foundation perimeter, structural grid, exterior doors and stoops, a date stamp in model space (for revision control), and a few other items.

The most important thing about this xref that is relevant to this thread is that it also includes grid dimensions, foundation dimensions, and any offsets from the grid to the foundation perimeter. By having this information in a single xref, each discipline can include what they need in their drawings. For example, I would show the overall foundation dimensions and usually freeze the grid dimensions and sometimes the grid lines. Structural, plumbing, etc. would show the grid lines and usually the grid dimensions, thus mostly addressing the OP's concern. If the building footprint and/or grid changed, the architect would send out a new xref with the appropriate explanations, then the other disciplines would update their drawings. By keeping the dimensions in one xref, as long as everyone used the current version (hence the date stamp), there was never a problem with grid dimension conflicts between disciplines. Also, when the grid dimensions were shown by other disciplines, we always add a note that the dimensions in the architectural drawings governed in the event of a conflict (this would only have occurred if one of the disciplines had not used the current xref, but it never happened on my projects).

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

XR250

"a new earth - awakening" by eckhart tolle changed my perspective quite a lot - I cant recommend a single book any more than that one

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I work as a structural engineer, and I always encourage our guys to dimension things in such a way that the contractors will actually be able to make the measurements.

For instance, I've encouraged my coworkers to not dimension off the column CL if the column is embedded in a wall. If it's in a wall, you can't put a tape on it. Instead, just use the wall as a datum.

There are times when dimensions do more harm than good in terms of conveying intent and proper placement. Recently, we showed some dimensions on a drawing to locate a large tank. The idea was to position the tank and some temporary shoring posts such that they were directly over existing beams. The dimensions were based on existing drawings and couldn't be field verified during the design phase. The contractor held to the dimension without realizing the intent, and if I hadn't seen it in the field, the shoring posts would have been on the slab instead of the beams. The slab wasn't thick enough to support the loads, and the tank might've wound up on the floor below had we not caught it in time.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

CrabbyT

Your example is exactly why I do not dimension any drawings. I draw to scale, include a reference to the scale, and that's it.

If you want a tank directly over a beam, a better way to accomplish that is a big note on the plans "PLACE TANK DIRECTLY OVER BEAM BELOW"

More straightforward no?

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I was just killing some time on YouTube on this unrelated video, the topic being French battleships of the late 1800/ early 1900's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ygXLnRAm-A
And curiously, a lot of modern day complaints seem to have been happening then, too. By the time one of the ships was completed, it rode a foot lower in the water than originally intended due to design changes made while it was in construction. Drawings for one of the ships showed over 500 changes made during construction. At one point, they were building 4 different battleships of similar size on a "design build" basis, so four different shipyards designed/built four different ships.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (EngineerMary)

Someone suggested calling the EOR directly. I have had mixed results with that. About half of them are happy to talk to me and the other half freak out and tell me to go through the contractor.

Will circle back to this one since I had a similar conversation with a subcontractor the other day. This is something I really don't understand from some EORs. I have no idea why structural engineers wouldn't want to talk to detailers, who are probably the most critical people on the entire construction team in terms of making sure the structural intent gets faithfully executed in the field. If they screw up, it's likely to go unquestioned all the way through the rest of the construction process as most people in the field are looking almost exclusively at the shop drawings and only open up my set when they're not sure about something.

Most of the questions detailers have are relatively simple clarifications that can be cleared up real quick over the phone. Not like they won't ask the question if you don't talk to them direct, they'll just submit an RFI and now I've got paperwork and a fun game of telephone through a bunch of different hands to answer a question that could have been answered in a matter of minutes. Not like there's less liability, instead there's now RFIs out there that even a crappy lawyer would know to use as support for my designs being unclear or incomplete.

Edit: To clarify, using RFIs to support my designs being unclear on incomplete may not have much merit as an argument, depends on the RFI content. But even a bad lawyer would still try and tie them together.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

MrHershey: The process I've used often with the local DOT and the EORs on bridge and culvert projects has been to call the EORs directly with simple questions with the understanding that I will follow up with a formal RFI if we feel it's warranted. For example; asking for the intent of some note or detail would be done over the phone and no RFI submitted if it was a simple question (but generally the responses are documented on our end). But, asking if we can change a major component to something else would also be done over the phone initally, and if the answer was "no" then we'd not waste an RFI generally. But if they approved preliminarily then we start working on a detail and send out an RFI as normal. Keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently but keeps the paper trail intact and all parties benefit by smoother communication.

Ian Riley, PE, SE
Professional Engineer (ME, NH, VT, CT, MA, FL, CO) Structural Engineer (IL, HI)

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
Little late getting back here as I initially figured I said what I had to say and leave it at that...but I've returned for the foolish comments and a good laugh. Now here's one


Here's the last weeks fun adventure since I've been gone, and I'm kind enough to leave names out.

1.) small $500. job I didn't want but as a favor to an old time fab friend I helped him out...4 revs later and 7 working days total. First rev was comical. eor had the only 3 beams on the job projecting 3" above the ramp area based on his given TOS. change all beams, add a post column in and to floor below and cut beams to avoid ramp...now GC is tweakin he's got to demo the floor below because eor wants it supported by existing structure.

2.) Cleanest job I swear I ever saw...I was praising it when it came in for bid and wanted it badly. Submittal comes back and mezz is 6" to low...wth I said and studied to see where I went wrong, not my mess up. I match the structural given TOS exactly! Architect and eor do not match. You guys don't really believe it's our job to check your stuff do you? I tell them this is not my problem and I detailed it in accordance to the structurals I was given first and foremost so I expect to be paid to raise it. Generally is not to bad to do so but when you involve bracing and manual modeled ugly moments...ahh that's a bit of work. Yall can't even get your drawings in sync is a riot yet blame others for it, ohh it's part of approval process..what an ass! I challenge that inn court with a document say what TOS is. Fab shop agreed to pay me my time to fix it and claimed they're going after them for it...so be it and I don't care nor my fight. Ohh gets worse...moment I start the mezz rev shop calls to say the eor has a column they need out...umm what that SOB supports the mezz and roof with a brace bay. Now new column added and roof beam upsized to a w36x210 for the span, moment on one end only..ha? Nobody wants to tell me why...they know me and I'm all over these fucks ups because I DO NOT MAKE THEM, NOR RELEASE TO MY PAYING CUSTOMER THAT WAY FOR FAB, PERIOD.

3.) $2k job...reno and it's an ugly mess. Drawings come back from approval and the entire canopy is wrong they claim...see section blah blah. I call the fab shop and tell them, "no, his 10'6" dimension to eave now do math to his 4'-6" vertical dimension I'm a dead match, so what is that lope angle? lol..was a riot..mile off but they want a given pitch but give rise and run to work off and claim it's no good.

Yall keep making excuses but here's one I'll challenge any and fact I can prove. 350 ton job in Boston, MA...not a single touch pulled out...ever! 450+ shops and 17 framing plans all done with Tekla Structures, I did to the eor's 8 contract drawings. He couldn't even get page one boiler plates right and his general notes claiming fireproofing...didn't exit and when questioned was told, "Ohh that's a boiler plate you can ignore that"..freakin riot! I can not image saying on my shops, "Galv. all steel" then making a lame claim it's a boiler plate and can be ignored....lol..I got many more I'll place against any of you, hands down! Boiler plates are BS and stop doing it! Better yet you realize the average detailer does how many more drawings than you? lets see in that case 8 vs. 450+ you couldn't hold a candle! But you will sure justify it so let it roll as it only tells me the guilty...lol.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

We all have "horror" stories with other structural and geotechnical engineers, local authorities, MEP engineers, architects, bakers, butchers, bus drivers (and even drafters, can you even imagine?). Certainly some people have horror stories about me as well but they have been kind enough to not tell me straight in the face how dumb I was and helped me correct my mistakes.

I've learned from my mentors to always assume that the people I work with are all properly qualified and that they know what they are doing, unless proven otherwise. If they aren't, I try to help to make the process go smoother for everyone and not complain how incompetent they are.

We all have our bad days and I just hope that mine don't result in anyone getting hurt. If a drafter (or anyone) spots an error, I'd be really glad that he could just warn me and not lose his time with a public rant. Our activity is much more important than anyone's feeling of self worth.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Ken, I am an engineer working for a steel fabricator. I work closely with detailers - they're a sharp bunch and deal with a lot of crappy uncoordinated drawings, I won't disagree with you on that part. The first thing they do is review all drawings, identify missing and conflicting information and send in a list of RFI's/clarifications. They do this in a very professional manner and the job moves on - its just part of the game. With all do respect, you come across as confrontational and condescending. The fact that you can take sub-standard contract drawings and turn them into workable fabrication drawings adds value to what you do. I don't like working with garbage drawings, but I don't like working with condescending jerks either - sounds like you need to take a chill pill and just keep up the good work.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Ken, I hope you and all detailers are better at detailing steel projects than an engineer, because while that’s most of what a detailer does, that’s only a small part of an engineers job. It’s easy to sit back and blame a collective group for the errors of individuals, but realize that’s a poisonous way to perceive the world. Instead of staying jaded, realize that buildings are designed by engineers of all experience and skill levels. Most engineers don’t make money having perfect drawings.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

For some reason, I'm reminded of a tv scene where two characters were deciding whether various people they knew were wankers or tossers.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

@EngineerMary
@MrHershey
I tend to agree that a lot of RFIs could be easily handled over the phone. Totally doable if you're working on just a few projects. But currently we have about 20+ projects in various stages of construction between two engineers. If i had a nickel for every time a contractor or detailer called me... It gets overwhelming, to the point where you have to kindly tell them ALL QUESTIONS MUST COME THROUGH THE CLIENT IN A FORMAL RFI. We will get to it, typically within a day or two, we promise. You are one of 30 people who all think their project is top priority, and it is hard to explain that, since all of our projects are with the same client, it is essentially first come first serve. I have days where I get absolutely ZERO design work done and only address RFIs and other admin paperwork. It is a lot to keep up with.

We had a contractor who was absolutely relentless and would call every single day as soon as he perceived there might be a slight hiccup - typically the result of his inability to read a set of drawings (ahem...). He shit a brick when we hit him with $5k in admin fees. Luckily we had every single phone call and email documented and provided the client with a detailed list of these 'unauthorized' interactions. Client laughed and made him pay up. This is precisely why our contracts forbid construction admin outside of the chain of command.

That said, I enjoy talking to subcontractors. I like to pick their brain, figure out better details, etc. But time simply does not permit in most cases.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

2

Quote (Ken62465)

...I match the structural given TOS exactly! Architect and eor do not match. You guys don't really believe it's our job to check your stuff do you? I tell them this is not my problem and I detailed it in accordance to the structurals I was given first and foremost so I expect to be paid to raise it....

Sounds to me like you didn't look at all of the construction documents, all of your comments seem to indicate you never look at anything but the structural documents. The contract documents typical consist of all of the disciplines. In your example above there may be a note on the structural documents indicating that in the instance of a conflict follow the architectural documents and by seemingly your own admission above you didn't review the architectural documents which at the very least should have generated an RFI or a clouded note on the TOS elevation in the shops for verification.

Quote (Ken62468)

... Is what my responsibility to guess at grid line column centers because people are to lazy to do their job?...
No, but it is your responsibility to look at all of the contract documents, as has been stated above by others, and it is unfortunate that this is the case, there are potential legal issues for us replicating information provided on other disciplines drawings. I'd bet those grid dimensions you're on about are indicated on the architectural set.

In todays world we aren't working off of complete architectural documents, their, the other disciplines, and our drawings are evolving pretty much right up until we all hit print. We are all also at the mercy of ownership, I've had buildings go to construction off of bid sets that were 3 years old with the only warning we received was when the first set of shop drawings comes in asking for quick turn around because they are already behind schedule. You can bet those drawings were incomplete, but they were also never intended to be a complete set of documents. I am sure the detailer working off those bid documents was cursing us for some of the same things you are bringing up, but they also ignored the "not for construction" watermark which covered the entire sheet.

Open Source Structural Applications: https://github.com/buddyd16/Structural-Engineering

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

2
"...our drawings are evolving pretty much right up until we all hit print the building is finally constructed."

Fixed that for ya, Celt. winky smile

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

"Like I'm a fool knowing I would come to an engineers group and expect support...lol...hello. No support will come to substantiate lazy drawings right like you're doing righ? Can read that one a mile away."

Coming to an engineer's forum and throwing the hand grenade of "May I ask how it is you feel comfortable releasing your design contract drawing without a single dimension...Is this pure laziness...?" and not expecting some pushback, might be considered a bit naive.

The reasons for the lack of dimensions on structural drawings have been explained to you. If you don't want to make the effort to look at the architectural drawings, do some math, and figure it out, don't expect a great amount of sympathy here.

I don't do structural drawings. I check structural drawings from our structural detailers, most of whom are excellent and have an understanding of what we're doing. All they need from me is plate sizes for the flange and web of the girder and the number and size of the reinforcing bars in the deck slab, and they're off and running, which allows me to do my job, which is engineering.

I could tell you a hundred stories about the crap shop drawings I've reviewed, but it serves no purpose and is a waste of my time.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

What about BIM? Revit is supposed to have fixed the coordination dilemma. Just ask for the model!

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I don't have much to add here other than I rarely dimension drawings unless there is a special feature that needs attention.
Don't want the liability of duplicating dimensions.

Quote (NorthCivil)

XR250

"a new earth - awakening" by eckhart tolle changed my perspective quite a lot - I cant recommend a single book any more than that one

I am 1/3 the way thru this book and also recommend it to everyone. It has been eye opening.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I'm currently working on a connection design project and have something to share.

In this project, the EOR indicated about 80-90% of reactions on the plan. Good job for those!

For the others, the connection must be designed for 60% of the Maximum Total Uniform Load. In about half of these connections, the typical connection for a given beam depth won't work. In some of these, we'll need to switch to some other type of connection and have some oddballs. In many, the situation is much worse. The coped beam won't work and there's no room for more bolts, so we're going to have to do something stupid to make it work. There is so little time, I'm not sure if we can cycle RFIs through to get the reactions, assuming the EOR would give them to use. All of this for saving the ten seconds it would've taken to put each missing reaction on the plan.

In my last four jobs, the fabricator needed the connection design in one to two weeks. It probably takes me 3-5x longer to establish the MTUL than it would take the EOR to put it on the drawings. Dealing with the weird crap that is caused by the MTUL approach eats a lot of time. Using the MTUL isn't exactly being a team player...

PLEASE avoid this abominable practice. As an EOR, I designed several million square feet of fairly complex steel structures and I NEVER used this approach -- not once, ever -- so I know it's unnecessary.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

This is an extraordinary rant- it's a difficult line of work we're in and I think that in age, when your rants no longer cool down in a reasonable time period, it may be worth throwing in the towel.

I'm sorry it's come to this- I work in South Africa and there are more things to rant about than you could ever know- incompetence is absolutely rife...I'm sure in my later years I will publish a rant like no man has ever witnessed.

It just offends the good engineers when it's brought up generically, but I understand you've reached your breaking point.

All the best for the future- take up something peaceful, like gardening!

Mike

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

On the other hand, I love these rants because I'm learning from them - still, after all these years.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Its a bit ranty but I think its good in the sense that a lot of drafters really never get heard from. When we get steel shop drawings we frequently get to meet the project manager or owner of the steel fab, but rarely the actual guy doing the drawings. The upshot from this kind of conversation can be that yes, there are good reasons why no dimensions are shown, but even so maybe we can all do better.

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

(OP)
@Celt83 ..that's a riot. You did catch my explanation about the architect and engineer not being on the same page for TOS right? Are you implying this is a detailers job to catch that mistake?..nice try. That is hilarious and a lame excuse not being on the same page as your team. Here's a simple one for ya...if your drawings were good quality I'd not have to go into the architecturals to see what "STRUCTURAL" item you neglected to show or provide plan/grid line dimensions for right? Most detailers will tell you the intent of structural drawings is to show the structrual requirements and architectural are generally used by misc metals detailers, but the AISC, "Code of Standard Practice" says other wise ha? Yet I've never minded going through the architecturals so please read my comments cause I clearly stated it and you missed it. You did pay proper attention that I specified over and over how I comb through them looking for info not provided in structurals right?...umm brickshelf or maybe you weren't paying attention to tthat comment either...again. The point you seem to mis was when I stated the discrepancy of TOS you assumed I don't look but did you also consider it's not my job to check your mistakes either? Yet another sad excuse to support errors and I do expect that coming here and stating this stuff so I'm not dumb.

So Friday I get another change to a little job I drew already. Now the eor wants a 3/4 support plate for the misc window bracket support system...umm your structural section clearly shows 1/2 plate and the steel is approved and erected, I'm doing some misc. as a favor so little late to be contradicting your own design..funny none the less. Had to put it down till someone alerts him his drawing section is specific and I have his structural approval to match what was done and is in the field.

Just had an interesting discussion with the wife as she sits here frustrated I'm working on a Sunday night. My point was, Can you imagine a surgeon screwing up so bad it takes multiple surgeries to fix it? They'd keep their license no problem. The day I make my customer fabricate a piece more than once is the day I say, "time to retire and it's obvious my time has come".

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Sounds like you need better boundaries!

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

Quote (Ken62465)

You did catch my explanation about the architect and engineer not being on the same page for TOS right?
I did however the way it read to me was this was found after the issue came up. I apologize for my comprehension error.

Quote (Ken62465)

Are you implying this is a detailers job to catch that mistake?
Not at all, what I am implying is that as a member of the project team if you do happen upon conflicting information you bring it up either in a quick phone call, an RFI, a shop drawing clarification note, or an email blast to everyone where you can berate me all you want the only important thing here is if you discovered this conflict the question is asked and the conflict corrected. At the end of the day we are all part of the project team and we all have the common goal of getting the building built so it is safe and at reasonable cost to the client.

Open Source Structural Applications: https://github.com/buddyd16/Structural-Engineering

RE: I must ask why EOR's do this crzy stuff/

I am reminded of this Dilbert from long ago:


I am also reminded of the time long ago when I contacted a pier driller about some belled piers and his analysis was "I hate belled piers with a purple passion!"

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

White Paper – Choosing the Right Spring Loaded Connector
In today’s cost-sensitive world, designers are often driven to specify the lowest cost solution for every aspect of their designs to ensure that their solution is competitively priced and their company remains profitable. However, specifying a low-cost, low-quality connector solution can result in premature failure, considerable re-work costs and damage to reputations. Download Now
eBook – Own the Lifecycle: Sustainable Business Transformation
Increasingly, product and services companies are seeking more information and control in the operational lifecycle of their products, including service and use. Better information about the operational lifecycle, and the ability to use that information, requires more than just unstructured data flowing back from products in the field. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close