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How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Just for fun, I was curious how others handle the infamous phrase "See Structural Drawings" stated in other discipline's drawings without coordination.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

You flip to the structural drawings and look at the related detail?????  

Maybe, I (or someone else) can answer the question better if you elaborate on your original post.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Your operative phrase is "without coordination".  This is really frustrating for a contractor.  I think the "See other Drawing" is used to excess.  In fact, I have even seen structural drawings with NO dimensions and the note "See Architectural Drawings for dimensions"!  When drawings were done by hand, the dimensions were put on all the pages. Now, with CAD, which is supposed to be more efficient, some designers don't put ANY dimensions on the drawing!

It must be the "fast track" nature of the business now.  Architecural skematics are sent to the structural designers and M/E's for their use.  The specialty consultants only want to go through their design once and don't want to be held liable for descrepancies.  So, they they use "See Other Drawing" to cover changes that are made after the first pass, rather than do the coordination necessary.

Just my two cents.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

I find it quite a novel concept. And incredibly annoying. But I am used to seeing it in coordinated drawings - i.e. architectural vs. structural. I don't mind it when the note refers to a specific page or detail. BUT when it is used because the engineer, or detailer doesn't understand or doesn't want to address an issue, I find it to be deplorable.

Often times there is probably a specific point to the referencing the structural drawings, but if that point is not conveyed, the note is really worthless.

I am an engineer at a concrete formwork company. Seldom do we produce shop drawings of the Slab on Grade, ad s typically it will not have an engineered system. But if I have a need to show some detail at the elevation, I will often include the note "See Structural Drawings for Slab on Grade Details." So maybe I am just as bad as the things that annoy me, but there really is nothing there that I should be analyzing.

How do you feel about See Structural Drawings?


RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Our goal is to say "RE: ARCH" more times than they say "RE: STRUCTURAL"

Seriously, it can really cost the job.  An uncoordinated "RE: STRUCTURE" often means that structural support is placed either unnecesarily, inefficiently, or worse, insufficiently.

On the other foot (mine), chasing Architetural dimensions can be quite frustrating and time-consuming.  We often use "RE: ARCH" for items that don't come in a timely manner or change more than once.  

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

To clarify my original posting:

Structural engineer should and must indicate all the necessary plans and details possible to construct.  At least as far as the "primary" framing system is concerned.

On occasion, you'd find "See structural drawings" indicated in architectural, mechanical, electrical drawings on details that are of little importance to the structural engineer.  When they find an area they don't fully understand, they state "See structural" without informing the structural engineer.  It is extremely annoying to find that type of note.

By "without coordination", I meant that the ones who call out such note did not let the SE aware.  At least if they did, SE would determine whether that information belongs on the structural drawing or elsewhere and provide guidance.  Contractors get frustrated seeing this type of note and sometimes it can be a big cause for a law suit.

Important thing is for all disciplines to know exactly where their liability ends and cover all information up to that point.  "See structural" note is a result of the originator not knowing where their responsibility ends.

What I do is educate the consultants on a case by case basis which info belongs on Structural drawings and which belongs on theirs.  Time consuming process...

Back to work...  Good day, y'all.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

I'd agree with TW.  Too often "see structural" means that the architect can't be bothered to check what the structural drawings show, or expect the structural engineer to provide support for some late addition about which (s)he has no knowledge.

On the other hand sometimes we will put "confirm with architectural and mechanical before construction" because we know (for example) that the exact size or location of an opening may change five times after the structural drawings have been issued for construction.

In an ideal world the whole package would be complete before the contractor got hold of it, but it doesn't work that way in practice.

Back to the original question - what do we do when we find an uncoordinated "see structural" on drawings - give the architect (or other culprit) an ear-bashing & "educate" them on a better way to do things.  Usually we share the same goals and it was just a mis-guided attempt to save time.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

You think that's annoying?

I once saw an electrical equipment installation drawing to be applied to a passenger railcar which had a note:

"Any structure interfering with the installation of items # - #  shall be cut away" The drawing was signed and stamped by an electrical engineer!

As a structural eng, I was offended and before and after my fall from the chair...

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Nice one trainguy.  Imagine the frustrations of the contractor who reads a conflicting statement on the structural drawing that states "do not cut any members for ductwork, electrical conduits etc unless specifically detailed".

Intent of my original post is in hopes of other disciplines to be courteous enough to coordinate with the structural engineer in areas they need our input before simply stating "see structural".  In many cases that portion isn't even structural at all.  How would mechanical engineers feel if structural engineer has no clue about designing some connection and say "see mechanical drawings for connection".  A bit extreme but it illustrates a point.

Good day!

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

How do you best succeed at this coordination? I have worked on projects where the Design team refused to accept contractor invitations to coordination meetings, phone contact, and even refused to review shop drawing submittals.

What works with you?

obviously any firm and engineers experiences and preferences vary, but any idea that puts the correct design in place will help.


RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Contractor should go through established chain of command.  Commonly, it is the architect.  Architect then "filters" the RFI's or field questions and determine which discipline shall respond to contractor's question.

Without the strong leadership in their part, even the best of the best consultants can come across some embarrassing moments.

Sometimes, we get submittals from the architects that are totally unrelated to structural.  I return them kindly and state "Not Reviewed".  "No exceptions taken" is used when we find no major objections to other professional engineer's work such as concrete mix design, temporary shoring, shop drawings, elevator/stair drwings etc.  "Reviewed for loading on structure only" is another.

To get back to your question "What works with you"...  If I were a contractor, i would contact the project architect for everything.  Architect is the lead in most projects and he must coordinate with whomever he hires to achieve his design intent.

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

"Without the strong leadership in their part, even the best of the best consultants can come across some embarrassing moments."

whyun, you've hit the nail on the head. I blame the architects.

On a totally serious note, if you're going to say "see struct. dwgs." or anything similar, put which drawing, which, detail and coordinate ALL the work before the package goes out for bid. I've lately been involved in trying to goes backwards, tracing the "see this or that dwg" and it's a real pain - but I take solace in that I ended up finding out the exact individual to blame. He didn't like it but he had to suck it up.

Really, what is the big deal with a little more good coordination? How hard is it for the electrical or mechanical folks or the $#%& architect to tell us what's going where on a daily basis?

RE: How to handle "See Structural Drawings"

Here is the conversation that I have had with a number of architects early in projects - before say we send out a 50% progress set.  
"If you want to put 'see structural drawings' on a drawing, then that means that there should be a phone call so that I know about it."
If it is innocuous like, pointing to the roof structure on an architectural drawing and saying: see strucutral, I don't have a problem.  
Coordination is tough, especially when structural bid packages go out before the architect submits anything.  I have had nightmares, just like everyone else.  Coordination is something that sounds good but too rarely happens.  Like many other things in our industry, I wish I had time and budget to do as much of this as I'd like.  I don't but just try to do the best I can.

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