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This pertains to structural steel, AWS D1.1 and AISC fabrication and erection:
Questions: What changes on a fabrication drawing must go back to the SER for written approval? Non-detailed splices? Changing a member size? CJP to PJP or fillet welds? Connection details? What document mandates SER review and approval?
Background: Production requested a change and the detailing department granted the change via e-mail. We have an owner's representative asking for SER approval of changes. Traditionally speaking, changes to fabrication drawings were required to have SER approval. Our detailing department is arguing that when there are errors of design documents transfered to detailed shop drawings released to the shop or production requests to make a change that they have the engineering experience (there is a registered PE on staff) and authority to make or allow a change. I believed this to be incorrect and that the SER had to make the approval, but quite frankly, I can not find anything in AISC documents, AWS D1.1 (except there are several references in Section 5 referencing Engineer approval that are not applicable to our situation) or the job specifications that says the SER must approve and that the detailing department can not make the changes. Am I blind? I do not wish to ask our detailing department comply with a higher standard than is nessesary, but can not justify the requirement to go to the SER if nothing says they have to. Of course I do not think the production department should make changes without some higher approval, but can the detailing department make the changes without going to the SER?
Any opinions or references are welcome.
Does your quality manual address this issue at all ? If the design drawings are incorrect the design authority could provide some clariifcation or other supporting documentation allowing deviation from the specific detail.
Here is the way I usually handle this however I deal with this as a customer representative but the theory works in other situations.
I read the PO to see what speciifcations are referred to. If only drawings are referred to then I read the notes. If neither of those clarifiy the method to be used for deviations from design drawings and what is allowed then I submit a request for information to either the design authority OR the agency I work for.
If 1) the "deviation" is due to an error on the design drawings
2) and the fabricator insists on changing the item on their drawings resulting in a condition that is not in accordance with the orginal design
I document it as an open item until it is clarified. Most of the fabricated product inspections I have been involved in as a customer inspector and as a vendor inspector had specifications referred to or contained in the PO. The customer makes as many mistakes on design drawings as vendors do on detail drawings. Usually they are MUCH harder to get resolved. Often times I have been corrected for putting an item in my report that indicated the design drawings were in error or required clarification.
I would 1st read what the PO says. Some project specifications will also provide an order of precedence for which documents are the "Final Answer" .
Have the detail drawings been approved by the customer?
Anyway those are some of my thoughts. I have run into this a few times. I'm not familar with AISC but I am pretty sure this is addressed in the quality system manual if this is an AISC certified fabricator.
Many others may have some greater experience with this but maybe this will help. Sorry I couldn't refer to any code paragraphs.
Have a nice day
Excerp from the Uniform Building Code '97 106.4.1 "...approved plans and specifications shall not be changed, modified or altered without authorizations from the building official..."
International Building Code 2000 106.4 "Work shall be installed in accordance with the reviewed construction documents, and any changes made during construction that are not in compliance with the approved construction documents shall be resubmitted for approval as an amended set of construction documents."
If you are fabricating for a building then you are also under the building code. The design drawings are the construction documents and the shop drawings are not. If a detail on the design drawings will not work, you must RFI and get the engineers approval. The RFI's are then entered as amended documents and retained by the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction)
It's my opinion that the detailer can make the change without the SER's approval provided that: The detailer is responsible for the design of the connections that is being modified and the modification in no way changes what is shown on the SER's drawings.
What the owner's representative is looking for is probably a "signed off" shop drawing. Many times the signed off shop drawing does have SER "Approved as Noted" comments so obviously those revisions that the SER noted have to be addressed. Therefore, if a detailer changes something that is not commented on by the SER, then the owner's representative who may not want to take the word of the detailer who made the change that the changes don't affect the design intent of the SER, may want to have the SER approve the change.
The only code requirement and/or specification requirement may be that the Owner's Inspector is required to have an approved set of shop drawings to verify compliance. Without the written approval, the Inspector may not even begin the inspection.
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