Plan Check Standards

User avatar
mpallamary
Posts: 2006
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:12 pm

Plan Check Standards

Postby mpallamary » Thu May 16, 2019 2:22 pm

Is anyone familiar with the checking manual/guide at https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/pubs/local_of ... _guide.pdf
and what constitutes the distinction between code requirements and the exercise of "professional engineering discretion" in the following?


40. Does the plan checking of documents prepared by a licensed engineer have to be done by a licensed engineer?
(B&P Code §§ 6704, 6730, 6730.2; 16 CCR § 404.1)

If the level of review done during plan checking is strictly simple code compliance—a
non-discretionary comparison of the engineering documents with the clearly mandated
code requirements and a determination of whether the engineering documents comply
with those clearly mandated code requirements—then the plan checking does not rise
to the level of professional engineering and does not have to be performed by, or under
the responsible charge of, an appropriately licensed engineer.

HOWEVER, if the level of review done during plan checking involves the exercise of
professional engineering discretion and independent engineering judgments, analyses,
and determinations by the plan checker, then the plan checking would rise to the
level of professional engineering and would have to be performed by, or under the
responsible charge of, an appropriately licensed engineer.


41. Do plan check comments have to be signed and sealed by a licensed engineer? (B&P Code §§ 6704, 6730, 6730.2, 6735,
6735.3, 6735.4; 16 CCR §§ 404.1, 411)

If the plan check comments involve the exercise of professional engineering
discretion and independent engineering judgments, analyses, and determinations
by the plan checker, then the plan check comments constitute an engineering report
and must be signed and sealed by the licensed engineer in responsible charge of the
plan checking that resulted in plan check comments. (See previous question for
additional information.)


Thanks!

User avatar
subman
Posts: 423
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:22 pm
Location: Ventura County

Re: Plan Check Standards

Postby subman » Thu May 16, 2019 8:42 pm

Mike

An excerpt from my prior life as a County Building Official (before retirement):

If the plan check only involves circling items on a standard building correction list (see link below) used by all plan checkers then review by an unlicensed plan checker probably meets the smell test. The devil is in the details and the professional judgement usually surfaced in the “Additional Comments” section. When I oversaw our B&S Division I stressed the need for licensed first line supervisors to review and stamp the correction sheets of entry level and other unlicensed plan checkers. Please also see the following: HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 18949.25-18949.31.

As I recall, It came out of the Northridge earthquake aftermath and the opinion that there was not enough structural knowledge required to pass the P.E. and immediately start checking building plans.

It requires permanent government employees to be certified as a plans examiner, whether licensed or not. My struggle was the engineering class specs were outdated and this was not an Minimum requirement. Therefore the union demanded a pay bonus to get this certification. So I sold it as a desired qualification and considered when promotional opportunities came up. The smart employees were able to read between the lines. Happy to discuss more offline.



https://dpw.lacounty.gov/bsd/lib/fp/Bui ... er%202.pdf

User avatar
mpallamary
Posts: 2006
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: Plan Check Standards

Postby mpallamary » Thu May 16, 2019 9:19 pm

Thanks for replying my friend. I appreciate you taking the time to assist in understanding this aspect of plan check. I had a friend who lived in Northridge and another structural engineer from San Diego who did building evaluations.

This is a very good reason to have qualified people reviewing engineering plans.

Many thanks!


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