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Structural observation

Discussion in 'Residential Foundation Codes' started by ICE, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Actually, this is an addition to a church.
     
  2. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Ok I give.
     
  3. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Following is the IBC/CBC Definition of Structural Observation and the text of Section 1710.1 which defines the reporting requirements.

    SECTION 1702 DEFINITIONS

    1702.1 General. The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this code, have the meanings shown herein. .

    STRUCTURAL OBSERVATION. The visual observation of the structural system by a registered design professional for general conformance to the approved construction documents. Structural observation does not include or waive the responsibility for the inspection required by Section 110, 1704 or other sections of this code

    SECTION 1710 STRUCTURAL OBSERVATIONS

    1710.1 General. Where required by the provisions of Section 1710.2 or 1710.3, the owner shall employ a registered design professional to perform structural observations as defined in Section 1702.

    Prior to the commencement of observations, the structural observer shall submit to the building official a written statement identifying the frequency and extent of structural observations.

    At the conclusion of the work included in the permit, the structural observer shall submit to the building official a written statement that the site visits have been made and identify any reported deficiencies which, to the best of the structural observer's knowledge, have not been resolved.
     
  4. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    ICE

    You stated:

    "Observed deficiencies shall be reported in writing to the owner or owner’s representative, special inspector, contractor and the building official."

    In the IBC/CBC language I do not see a requirement that the structural observation report be submitted to the owner or owner’s representative, special inspector, or the contractor. A smart engineer keeps his client informed, and would inform the contractor of problems but it is not a code requirement. The special inspector’s are not involved with the structural observation process. They have no need for the report.

    “This means that at each observation, deficiencies are in a report. The next segment is a separate report. “

    The IBC/CBC language does not require a report after each observation visit. A report is only required at the conclusion of the work.

    "Upon the form prescribed by the building official, the structural observer shall submit to the building official a written statement at each significant construction stage stating that the site visits have been made and identifying any reported deficiencies which, to the best of the structural observer’s knowledge, have not been resolved."

    This language does not exist in the IBC/CBC.

    The IBC/CBC language does not require a statement that the work matches the plans nor does the language you provided.
     
  5. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    The Engineer may not have "observed" the footing.......during his dirveby.
     
  6. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    So you are saying the work doesn't need to match the plans, or the engineer does not need to issue a statement that the work does not meet the plans? The IBC language specifically gives the BO the general authority to require such a statement, and others, if the BO so chooses.
     
  7. gbhammer

    gbhammer Platinum Member

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    o Jefferson County Code Enforcement requires a summary report of each area of special inspection or testing, unless there is a situation of non-conforming work.

    • Deviations should be reported to the Jefferson County Code Enforcement division immediately.

    • Jefferson County Code Enforcement will need to review and approve remedial work or resolutions, before any final inspections may be made in the area of deviation.

    • Jefferson County Code Enforcement will require a copy of the observation logs tracking resolutions and remedial repairs to deviations.

    We require that a special inspection agreement document be signed that lets all parties know what is expected of them by our department. We will allow a property owner to waive certain special inspections if they have the designer perform structural obse3rvations
     
  8. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Papio

    I am saying that the engineer does not need to make a statement that the work matches the plans. If the engineer were to make a statement that the work matches the plans without qualification this would be a guarantee. The engineer's errors and omissions insurance does not cover guarantees. Thus if the engineer were to make the statement that you want them to make and something went wrong there would be no insurance policy to pay for the owner's loss. Will the owner thank you?

    The work needs to be in compliance with the construction documents.

    Please point me to the IBC language authorizing the building official to require such statements.

    gbhammer:

    The summary of the Jerrerson County reporting requirements appears to be consistent with the requirements for special inspection.

    Eliminating a special inspection because of structural observation was performed reflects confusion regarding the nature of structural observation. As stated before structural observations do not go into the same detail as special inspections.
     
  9. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    Mark:

    California has amended the IRC to include the special inspection requirement to defer to Chapter 17 of the IBC. I've been required to use special inspectors for years, the current single family home I'm building has $40,000 allowed for special inspections as required by the AHJ (BTW, the way I read Chapter 17 the special inspector must be employed by the owner and not the contractor, but several others interpret it to allow the contractor to employ the special inspector on the basis that the contractor is the agent of the owner).

    The AHJ I'm building within also allows engineers to do the special inspections, I've got a special inspection firm doing the welding inspections, the soils engineer doing the pier inspections, and the structural engineer doing the epoxy doweling inspections.

    [/QUOTE]Wednesday I had the County inspector out for a footing inspection, he requested and I presented him with three special inspection reports, I also had the structural engineer inspect the steel placement and the County inspector accepted it.

    ¹ http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/dso/agencyarticle?path=%2Fv7%2FDevelopment Services%2C Office of (DIV)%2FBuilding Inspection&contentId=ef1fa7fe58b34010VgnVCMP230004adc4a92____
     
  10. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    CONARB

    I know you think you know what you are talking about but STRUCTURAL OBSERVATION is not SPECIAL INSPECTION

    No clue
     
  11. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    It is the intention of the special inspection provisions that the Contractor be explicitly prohibited from hiring the special inspectors.

    While the IRC references Chapter 17 of the IBC for special inspections, IBC Section 1704.1 Exemption #2 does not require special inspection for residential units that do not require an architect or engineer. This could include many 1 to 2 family residential buildings.
     
  12. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    This tread is STRUCTURAL OBSERVATIONS not SPECIAL INSPECTION

    Totaly different animals
     
  13. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    Chapter 17 is entitled "Structural Tests and Special Inspections", so SFD are covered by Chapter 17.
     
  14. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Dick

    I cannot make this any simplier a OBSERVATION is not a INSPECTION

    And "Structural Tests and Special Inspections", is not a OBSERVATION
     
  15. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Mark H

    Conarb is correct if he hired the engineer to perform the special inspections in addition to the structural observations. This is specifically allowed by Section 1704.1. It is not an AHJ option.
     
  16. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    That is not what he is saying and that is not what the CRC section he is quoting is saying

    And "Structural Tests and Special Inspections", are in addition to an OBSERVATION and OBSERVATIONS are not required in SFD housing
     
  17. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    This is crazy. This is crazy. This is crazy....(jumps in).

    Sections 109.3.8(other inspections) & 109.3.9(special inspections - referencing 1704) of the 2006 IBC would be the simple administrative way to say the BO has the authority to request whatever documentation from inspections they see fit (i.e., God clause), but also offers you an appeal process, which unless it is going to kill the job, really isn't a realistic option either. However, I will assume you would rather go to Section 1704 & 1705 which in turn address your beloved topic du jour, "statements of special inspection" provided by the RDP of record/responsible charge.

    While 1705 outlines the scope of the special inspections to be performed, it does not require the RDP to state the work shall meet the construction documents (as the RDP has most likely boiler-plated 'all work shall comply with applicable local codes and any deviation shall be brought to the RDP's attention, etc, et. al." all-over the construction documents anyway, and would be redundant and unnecessary to make them CTRL-C/CTRL-V this given one more time). Kind of like duh, huh? It is actually the Report requirement in 1704.1.2 that your insurance policy might conflict with, if an engineer were operating as a special inspector, as this is the part where they have to make a statement "indicat(ing) that work inspected was done in conformance to approved construction documents."

    Somebody has to make a statement that makes the BO and Owner happy...a shame it can't be the person who is in responsible charge of the project because their errors and omissions insurance wouldn't cover it.

    "What would you say it is you do here? Well, Bob, I work with GD people so the engineers don't have to!"
     
  18. gbhammer

    gbhammer Platinum Member

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    What I meant to say and should have said was that the DP, who created the drawing, will be allowed to do special inspections of a minor nature while he is doing his structural observations. The DP is still required to sign a special inspection agreement document, and takes on the responsibilities of a special inspector. We are not waiving the inspections just the requirement for another party to be involved, and even then it is only at the request of the owner and his DP and again for work of a minor nature.
     
  19. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Papio

    The building official has the ability to require evidence that the installed work complies with the approved construction documents as provided for in section 1703.4. It is understood that under normal circumstances that the normal testing and inspection reports would satisfy that need.

    When there is a question about the quality of the installed work the owner has the ability to provide the evidence of code compliance in a manner consistent with the code. This does not give the building official the right to say who provides the evidence nor does it give him the authority to require guarantees from the design professional. Unless required by the code inspections and reports can be provided by any appropriately qualified individual.

    Section 1703.4 allows the building official to require evidence of code compliance in the form of tests and reports. The focus is on tests and reports. Test results showing compliance with the code requirements would be sufficient to prove compliance.

    There is a legal principal that when there are several reasonable interpretations of a regulation the person being subjected to the regulations gets to chose the interpretation he favors.

    “God clauses” that give the building official the authority to unilaterally ask for whatever he wants are legally questionable. Where do the powers of god stop?

    1704.1.2 applies to reports by the special inspector. The special inspector is selected by the owner and would not be the design professional unless so retained by the owner at the owner’s discretion. I believe that you will find that statements made by testing and inspection agencies and design professionals performing special inspections will contain qualifying language that stops short of a guarantee.

    The code provisions allowing the building official to require additional inspections or special inspections were intended to deal with unusual situations and do not give the building official to redefine the testing and inspection requirements for normal construction. There is a difference between a special case and modifying the building code, which the building official does not have the authority to do.

    If you believe that it is necessary to have an inspector on the job full time then formally modify the code. This has been done by several state agencies in California.

    In my opinion it is poor practice for the design professional to hide behind statements requiring the contractor to comply with the local codes. Similarly I see requirements from building officials that make the design professional guarantees that the work complies with the construction documents as another form of CYA behavior.

    There seems to be a misunderstanding of the role of the design professional or the control the design professional has over the construction work.
     

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