Building Design & Engineering

Questions to Ask Prospective Design Professionals

(Engineer, Architect, Building Designer) for Your Project   When searching for a design professional to assist you with your next project, there are a few questions you should ask them in advance of signing any contracts or providing them any retainers. After all, your project may be one of the biggest investments / expenditures you will make in your …

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What is a CEPE?

A CEPE is a Certified Energy Plans Examiner.  A CEPE must pass a test given by the California Association of Building Energy Consultants demonstrating their knowledge of the California Energy Standards.  Building department plan checkers, building inspectors, and those people who do energy calculations can take the Residential Standards and/or Non-Residential Standards test.  The test is …

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What is Structural Observation?

Structural Observation is defined as the visual observation of the structural system by a registered design professional for the general conformance to the approved construction documents at significant construction stages and at completion of the structural system. Structural observation does not include or waive the responsibility for the inspections required by CBC section 108, 1701 …

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What is a Geotechnical Report?

The geotechnical report is a tool used to communicate the site conditions and design and construction recommendations to the site design, building design, and construction personnel. Site investigations for building design projects have the purpose of providing specific information on subsurface soil, rock, and water conditions. Interpretation of the site investigation information, by a geotechnical …

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How Much Does an Engineer Charge for their Services?

An engineer’s fee is likely the smallest of all of those involved throughout the course of your project.   According to HSH Associates, your lender will charge anywhere from 4% – 14% of your loan amount to fund your project (based on historical data). The architect will require nearly the same, 4.5% – 16% (includes …

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What is the Difference Between an Architect and an Engineer?

Building designer, architect, civil engineer, structural engineer… who are the various players involved in the design of your project and what qualifications do they possess? This answer varies depending on what state and / or local jurisdiction your project is in, but the following information is generally applicable.   Professional boards for the state of California have published documents …

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