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Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 977
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2022 - 02:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

CSI and AIA have developed standards that establish where information should be located. The problem is that building departments appear to be ignorant of his system and make demands that inappropriate information be placed on the construction documents or be located is the “wrong” location.

Examples of this disfunction include:
• Statements that the building department does not plan check specifications and thus all information be placed on the drawings.
• Requirements that the statement of special inspections, which from the Contractors perspective is an informational document, be located on the drawings.
• Requiring statements be placed on the drawings that that do not instruct the contractor. This reflects a view by building departments that the primary purpose of the construction documents is to aid in getting a permit while from the perspective of others the primary purpose of the construction documents is to serve as part of the Owner Contractor agreement.

It would be interesting to understand the sort of problems have been created by building department demands.
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1892
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 09:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The fourth of your points seems to me to hit the nail on the head. Perhaps it is true (is it?) that permitting needs information that constructing doesn't. I ask for the sake of discussion: should/can there be different versions of documents that address this? And, this doesn't even venture into the territory of BIM, where maybe the documents aren't even printed in the first placep
Brian Payne
Senior Member
Username: brian_payne

Post Number: 277
Registered: 01-2014
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 10:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I love this discussion and have been thinking about this topic for a while. Here is another example: AHJ requires us to place UL details on the permit set, not just the UL number. My specs have at least three fire joint manufacturers listed, but I only have Hilti details in my set. The Fire Marshall (of our state capitol) was shocked that the details in the set might not actually be the details installed. He didn't understand the basics of how projects are bid based on the specs and drawings. There is a lot of educational groundwork that still needs to be laid imho before true change can happen.

More annoyingly...we all have the internet. Why is putting jpg of UL details on drawing sheets even necessary.
Jeffrey Potter
Senior Member
Username: jpotter

Post Number: 28
Registered: 02-2017
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Division of the State Architect (DSA) in California for public school work is notorious for this. They have many requirements that are duplicated both on Drawings and in Specs.

They even have required verbiage for accessibility that has to go in the specs, which is essentially word for word California Building Code Sections.

I have had many arguments with them over inclusion and placement of verbiage. However, they win most of them because they have "control" over the approval process and can't make life miserable for the teams.

Oh they also have NO risk. Many items they had us include have the potential for litigation and they are not liable for any of it.
Brian Payne
Senior Member
Username: brian_payne

Post Number: 278
Registered: 01-2014
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 11:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In some ways I have more grace for the state construction authorities, since they are also acting (hopefully) in the interest of the residents/tax payers and have a long term vested interest in the success of the project. The same can't be said for private jobs.
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 877
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 12:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

While AHJ requirements may violate our cultivated principles of construction documents, has there ever actually been a problem? I mean, essentially its just yet more language for the contractor to ignore, right? Has there ever been any claims or case law where the architect was penalized for having information superfluous to constructing the project?
Ronald L. Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: specman

Post Number: 1618
Registered: 03-2003

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 01:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Nathan, my guess there probably are none or so few that statistically it would be negligible.

On the flip side, has any of these silly requests made any difference in the enforcement of code requirements during construction? I think my answer above would also apply here.

Either way, they sure make themselves look ridiculous in the eyes of people like us.

I have been wanting to do a session at ICC's conference just on this subject, but have not been able to find the time or energy. Someday...
Ron Geren, FCSI Lifetime Member, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSC, SCIP
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1491
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 01:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Ron, two cost vs. benefit thoughts:
1. Would anyone who would benefit actually listen?
2. Is it worth risking making that many enemies?

If you take it on we will all sing your praises.

Frankly, I completely understand the "time and energy" issues.
Steven Bruneel, Retired Architect
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 709
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 03:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

On large projects these AHJ requirements become absurd and expensive.
20 or more 30x42 drawing sheets filled with cut and paste UL assemblies.
As many sheets filled with cut and paste complete spec sections.
One large California city requires any spec information they deem necessary for permitting to be on the drawings, "because we microfilm all documents and it is too expensive to microfilm every 8.5x11 page of spoecifications". This in 2020.
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 978
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 04:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

the IBC (Section 107) recognizes that submittal documents can include information not in the construction documents or specifications which suggests that the building department is not complying with the adopted building code.

Is this because the building officials and plan checkers do not understand the code or ???

At least one individual from the building department has claimed that the primary function of the construction documents was to facilitate obtaining of a permit as opposed to instructing the Contractor.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1492
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2022 - 05:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Well Mark, when their only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I guess that building official is so focused on that silo that they've lost sight of why we're doing this.

After all, how many of us have had to explain to designers that our job is not to create Drawings and Specs, it's to design and to communicate the design. Drawings and specs are just a side-effect.
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 721
Registered: 12-2002

Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 02:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Add reproducing the (maybe) applicable UL assemblies on the drawings to the above list of random building department demands. We used to have discussions in CSI chapters about engaging building code departments in membership and certification study. That was back before CSI started taking itself apart.
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