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  • 1.  Delegated Design Gaps

    Posted 04-06-2023 03:42 PM

    For buildings, SERs delegate much of the design of important components like stairs, connections, and cladding.  One challenge of this process is having clear delineation of responsibilities, but it is concerningly common for scope gaps to emerge during the submittal review process.  Some may end up getting buried in "approved as noted" submittals where neither engineer has actually formally agreed to the other's language.

    Most engineers I know, on either side of the design/construction divide, find delegated submittal review to be a major source of risk in addition to being frustrating and stressful.  On smaller jobs, I sometimes wonder whether doing the engineering in-house would actually save budget over engaging in the tug-of-war during CA.

    Is it time to rethink our system of delegated design?  What can delegated designers and SERs do to avoid or mitigate scope gaps?

    Christian Parker P.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Project Engineer
    Washington DC

  • 2.  RE: Delegated Design Gaps

    Posted 04-07-2023 09:45 PM

    Hi Christian,

    Bringing the design in-house, as you suggested, would reduce scope gap risk, and will be right for some delegated design items on some projects.  Figuring out which delegated design items to pull forward and when to pull them forward is the challenge.  Wear the big hat and avoid increasing the overall project cost for the owner when making these delegated design decisions.  

    Another way to reduce scope gaps is to clearly delineate roles and responsibilities on the interface details.  Blow up the interface detail and add notes as needed to make it abundantly clear where responsibilities stop and start, aka go ham on the detail.     

    Sonny Fite P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer

    Sonny Fite P.E., M.ASCE
    Lead STructural Engineer
    Target Corporation
    Fridley MN