My question is more based on principle rather than design.
I have been in the industry for over years and keep coming to the same question lately; who is responsible for the end product on design and install?
I've had several projects in the last year where a "mechanical engineer (plumbing/HVAC)" are doing the layout for the schematic and bid drawings and don't have the complete knowledge of fire protection. I've had to deal with issues ranging from head spacing to pump specifications... and none of them have been close to code.
Specifically, I have a 3-story building with the 3rd floor at 30'-0" above apparatus / grade so there should be no need for standpipes. The plan/specs require an automatic-wet standpipe with a 125 psi @ 500 pump. I sent an RFI on why the need for the automatic-wet standpipes, where we can do away with standpipes or go to manual/wet and I was rejected. Ultimately, we were told to follow the prints....but we are "delegated" design. Eliminating the pump and standpipes, we could have saved the county $110,000+ (electric included).
I now have a church with 36-ft throw sidewalls and the engineer would like to stay with sidewalls and not have any pipe crossing the room; it's not possible with the supply.
In the end, who is responsible for the design and performance of the system?
If the contractor follows the plan/spec, is he liable because he is the "delegated" designer? But if the delegated design needs to change and is rejected, who is liable?
How do you bid plan and spec project if there are multiple issues with the bid plans? Do you redesign and bid it correct? No, you won't get the job. Or, do you bid per prints and then not be allowed change orders because you are the delegated designer?
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