Loading DES What We Do...


What is Delegated Engineering?
The days when the Structural Engineer-of-Record (SEOR) designed all of the structural elements of a building has pretty much become a thing of the past. The economic reality in today’s construction industry is that SEOR’s are being forced to work with less fee, and even lesser time, so they have to shed scope to stay in business. As a result, it is fairly common that the SEOR will design the “primary structure” (beams, columns, foundations, etc.) while the structural design of most secondary elements (stairs, cladding, handrails, etc.) is delegated to one or more specialty engineers. In addition to delegating the responsibility for the design of the secondary structural elements, SEOR’s are also delegating the responsibility for the design of many primary structural elements (wood trusses, steel joists, precast concrete elements, tilt-up concrete panels, etc.) because it makes more economic sense for the fabricator to control the design. It is not unusual to have multiple structural engineers on a building project each designing their own specialty component.

Why Me?
We very often hear from new contractor clients “why do I have to pay for the design?!” The reality is that if the design is clearly delegated in the bid and permit documents the contractor has limited choice. Almost all states recognize the delegation of design so if you bid the job “per plans and specs” than it’s yours. Some try to exclude the delegated engineering from their bids but in the end a construction contract does not supersede the permit documents. They end up just wasting a lot of time and money fighting with the building department. Our advice to our contractor clients is to embrace the trend! Design the elements the way you want and profit from your own fabrication efficiencies.