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Replace EOR for a project in New York
5

Replace EOR for a project in New York

Replace EOR for a project in New York

(OP)
I have spent at least 3 hours searching rules and regulations, but didn't succeed. Hope someone can point me to the right direction. Thank you very much in advance.

A client has decided to fire another engineering firm who completed the design, including obtaining all relevant permits and approvals. Now this client would like us to take over the work to implement the design (build everything). Apparently, this client would prefer not to deal with the other firm, if at all possible.

It sounds to me, the engineer of record would have to change from the other firm to us. I can't locate the pertinent rules and regulations regarding this. The only seemingly relevant rule is we can certainly perform "alterations" of the previous design if needed. By performing "alterations", however, the EOR would possibly still be the other firm. Honestly, for a project this size (>$20M), I would rather not take full responsibilities of someone else design. But, the client certainly would like to cut off all possible connections with the other firm which makes it desirable (for the client) to change the EOR to us...

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

5
Project EOR's can and do change. I mean, if that wasn't a possibility we'd have a lot of trouble continuing projects when an EOR suddenly got hit by a bus!

Step 0: Find out why the owner is firing the EOR. Are they going to be good to work for? Was it their BS that caused a shit show? Be candid. Ask for reasons, and if you dont like the answer tell them you dont feel comfortable with the situation.

Step 1: Make sure your client knows that if you become the EOR you take responsibility for the design and hence need to review every single detail, even if it is already permitted. This is costly and changes may need to be made. Changes can take time.

If they agree in writing then proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Consult your professional association's code of ethics. They will likely tell you that you'll need to issue a letter to the original EOR stating that you are reviewing their work and taking over engineering responsibilities for the project. In said letter, request that the EOR issue a statement to the building department relieving themselves as being the EOR for the project.

Step 3: Use the time being wasted by the bureaucratic machine that is the building department, to review the drawings and see what might require a change. Submit changes to the building department once known.

Step 4: Get permit set back and continue like any other project.

To be clear, by the sounds of it if you step into this in any other role than the EOR you will A) violate your association's ethical requirements, and B) just be in a shitty place that you dont want to be. Dont do that.

CWB (W47.1) Div 1 Fabricator
Temporary Works Design
Toronto, Ontario

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

@Enable....well stated!

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

Agree with Enable's list, and I would want to know that the owner and the previous engineer have consummated an agreement for compensation for that engineer's work product.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

(OP)
Thanks @Enable for your detailed reply. Although there are some states that set forth detailed procedures for changing the EOR, the state of NY only has vague language written in the rules.

I completely agree that a detailed review and evaluation of the other’s firm design is necessary, which in fact is also required by the state.

And to answer @hokie66’s question, I think the client already fully paid the other engineer for performing the design… not the best articulated design as insufficiencies and inconsistencies are noted everywhere in all disciplines.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

I hope it's not the airport job I'm working on.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

(OP)
I can assure you it’s not an airport project :)

Also, just sent an email to the licensing board. Will see what they say.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

Is it necessary to have a 'hold harmless' clause somewhere?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

Somewhere in that list of steps add "have a long talk with your E&O insurance carrier."

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

Greg... the 'hold harmless' is to take care of things before a shovel hits the ground... In addition to the insurance carrier, he should check with his companies lawyer.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

I think Enable's response is excellent, but will add my non-NY experience.

My local professional engineers association (Ontario/Canada) makes it very clear that engineer #2 taking over a project from another engineer #1 has no responsibility related to the business dealings between the client and engineer #1. That being said, it is a small community and the few times I have been involved in these situations I have always done my best to ensure the business between the client and engineer #1 have been taken care of (and likewise has been done to me). In fact, after speaking with engineer #1 (an old colleague), I have heard about the project/client difficulties and either adjusted my fee accordingly or declined to work with the client.

I am aware of several projects where the EOR who completed the design work was terminated after the building permit drawings were approved and the new engineer completed construction review. This is permitted by our professional engineers association. All original design elements remained the responsibility of the original EOR. Any changes to the design during construction were the responsibility of the new EOR. Not ideal, if anything were to happen in the future, it could get very messy for the lawyers to sort out.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

(OP)
Thanks @Canuck65. I heard back from the NY licensing board, basically, the 2nd engineer can sign and seal the 1st engineer’s work by following a procedure. Once that procedure is completed, no liability will go back to the 1st engineer. Tricky situation indeed. This client is a long-term one, we want to help them for sure.

RE: Replace EOR for a project in New York

A lot of this type of work came around my area following the onset of covid, as there were a number of jobs being run by engineering firms from the country next door, who were now locked out, and though could complete the design, cancelled all their contracts for construction monitoring.

At first this situation felt very unfamiliar, but ive seen it enough times.

we would price it as follows: allow for a thorough peer review, + 20% of the design fee for changes, + a healthy amount of fee for site visits, + a healthy profit margin.

landed some of them that crossed our desk but not all, tis not nice work anyway so there is no sense doing it for cheap.

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