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Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

(OP)
How do other structural engineers typically handle the initial statement of special inspections when a third party firm will be doing the inspections? As the Design EOR, I'm hesitant because the signatory agrees to do the verification and, for the final statement of Sp. Insp., attest that all special inspections have been done and testing is completed. These are things I'm not going to do, but they need this form to apply for permit and the haven't hired a special inspection firm yet.

In my area, the firm doing the special inspections will typically seal this page, but I've seen it both ways.

Do you sign and seal this anyway, even though you're not the one doing the inspection?

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

kipfoot - I always seal the statement as the form (I'm assuming your referring to the Hampton Roads Regional Special Inspection Guidelines and Procedures) indicates the preparer is supposed to seal. As EOR, we know what's really important in the design and what really needs to be inspected.

The final report is sealed by Agent 1.

This allows them to apply for permit before selecting the agency (although they'll likely get a review comment with the inspection agency block blank on the schedule - at my old firm our lead construction administrator would write these and he'd just cycle through the local testing labs and let the owner change it later if they wanted) and the Special Inspector seals the final report attesting to completion.

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

(OP)
phamENG, thanks. The Chesterfield Co. and Petersburg version is not as straight forward. This is the form I meant to attach, on which I agree to be responsible for performing the special inspections....but really it's like a delegated aspect of the job, but ultimately will require me to be on top of special inspections.

Also: I got a call about a masonry block evaluation in obx and thought of you. You're 1 1/2 hours closer. I think the owner may have contacted structural engineers your neighborhood.

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

So for that one, it sounds like they expect the Engineer of Record to also be the 'Special Inspector of Record.' I can see some sense in that - just as it's best that the schedule be prepared by the EOR, making sure everything on the schedule was done is probably best accomplished by the EOR in terms of knowing what you wanted inspected for critical areas. For a vanilla box retail store it's maybe a little annoying, but for anything with some complexity it's not a bad idea.

You may want to talk to the building official and see what their expectation is. You may be able to be "Agent 1" and just not do any field inspections - you review the submittals, testing lab does all field inspections and testing and sends you the reports for review and inclusion in the final project report. When it's all done, you finalize the paperwork. Certainly not the fun part of the job, but it may be what the AHJ is expecting.

Thanks. Haven't heard from them, but they may have gotten wind that I've been turning everyone away recently. I'm booked solid to January. Though if it's small I'll be down a couple times in the next month or so (one vacation and two projects) and could probably squeeze it in. Similarly, I got a call from somebody in Yorktown yesterday and thought of you, but without your contact information I referred him to engineeringeric's firm.

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

Kipfoot, Is there a prescribed final report in the jurisdiction? I read through the requirements of the 2015 & 2018 VCC. Namely, "A final report documenting required special inspections and tests, and correction of any discrepancies noted in the inspections or tests, shall be submitted at a point in time agreed upon prior to the start of work by the owner or the owner's authorized agent to the building official." Based on the language, I think you could incorporate the special inspection agency's reports and deviation log into a final report where your stamp is just proforma to acknowledge you reviewed the reports of the SI and you don't see any uncorrected discrepancies. I would work something into your general notes or specifications to place the responsibility of generating a final report suitable for your review on the SI. I use a specification section I wrote to clearly delineate the responsibilities of SI on the various parties (see attached). My primary jurisdiction (GA) produces a form that the special inspection firm has to sign for the final report, so the section explicitly assigns this responsibility to the SI. But the language of the form could be leveraged for your case, "To the best of my information, knowledge, and belief, which are based upon observations or diligent supervision of our inspection services for the above-referenced Project, I hereby state that the special inspections or testing required for this Project and designated for this Agent in the Schedule of Special Inspection Services, have been completed in accordance with the Contract Documents."

___________________
- Robert Hale, PE, SE

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

(OP)
RobertHale, yes, there is a Final Report of Special Inspections that needs to be sealed. I like your approach to clarifying the responsibilities of the various parties, because the forms produced by the county or city are not so clear. I spoke with the engineer who will be doing the sp. insp for this project and his preference is to seal the initial statement and also the final statement, as well as producing the reports during construction.

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

In my area, signing and sealing this kind of thing is only a statement that the design applicant has identified the special inspection responsibilities. It's literally nothing more than that. There is a provision for "Final inspection", which sounds daunting at first, because it seems like you're taking responsibility for inspecting the entire building. But upon reading the forms, it's just saying that you called the Department of Buildings to do their own final inspection. That's just for my area, and your mileage may vary.

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

IBC 1704 is clear that a "Registered Design Professional in Responsible Charge (RDPiRC)" is required and it may be a distinctly different person that the EOR. In my area, the Architect usually signs up as RDPiRC. I have only experienced 1 Architect in my career that refused to be RDPiRC on a project because they were uncomfortable with the non-Architectural special inspection items. I have thought for a long time that 3rd party testing agencies are missing the boat on this aspect of the code and could be signing up as RDPiRC on all projects as an additional service.

Regardless, the RDPiRC, not the EOR, is responsible for ensuring all required special inspections are 1.) Identified for permit (i.e. Statement of Required Special Inspections) 2.) Qualified inspectors are engaged by the owner 3.) Final Report of Required Special Inspections is submitted to the Building Official at completion. In all of this process, the EOR is not held in any way to participate. Do we often participate? Yes, of course. But, keep in mind, special inspections include many items that are not structural. If you are signing up to be the RDPiRC, then be aware of your responsibilities for the project. The RDPiRC is also not held to actually perform any inspections. Actual inspections must be performed by an Approved Agency, employing the Special Inspectors. The reason EOR is "allowed" to inspect is because being EOR qualifies you as an Approved Agency/Special Inspector. There are other ways to be approved and not be an engineer. In my area, AHJ's maintain a list of Approved Agencies and you have to (even EOR) submit your application and maintain yearly renewals before you are allowed to perform special inspections on your own designs. This is not contrary to IBC Ch17.

Bottom line is, EOR's have been signing up as RDPiRC, Approved Agency/Special Inspector while the code provides very clear description of these as distinctly separate entities. Are we meeting the intent of the code by performing all three roles? Or is the intent that the RDPiRC is an independent and impartial overseer of the process?

RE: Sealing Statement of Special Inspections

Typically we will provide and seal for permit and make it clear to the client/owner that they either need to hire us to do the inspections, or they need to have the EOR in the special inspectors company provide a new form and update the record with the building official.

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