Not The First Time

It was with much interest that I read "Dispute Mars Historic Renovation" (ENR 3/4 p.10). I compliment you on finding this newsworthy topic, but the Hearst Memorial School of Mining project was not the first time the University of California, Berkeley, used the construction manager-general contractor method of contracting.

My employer, AMEC, introduced CM-CC to UC Berkeley when we were contracted to manage the Walter A. Haas Pavilion project. Completed dispute-free, the Haas project was a thorough CM-CC success in 1999.

Prior to the Haas project, AMEC used the CM-CC approach numerous times at the University of California, San Francisco. It was after being well-received at UCSF that we introduced the method to UC Berkeley’s Jeff Gee and Bill Dibbern.

Marketing Manager
AMEC Construction Management Inc.
San Francisco

'Grandfathering' Needed for Separate Structural Licenses

With reference to the drive for separate licensing for structural engineers (ENR 3/4 p. 14), I wish to make two points: First, there are many civil engineers who have practiced and have been experts in structural engineering for many years. Do we get thrown to the wolves? Do we need to prove ourselves to those possibly less qualified than ourselves?

Second, my 45 years of experience tells me that no building or structure should be architected without the approval of a qualified structural engineer. No doubt the AIA will not take kindly to this, but it may be the only logical step to prevent further 9/11-type structural failures.

Spam Chops

Unsolicited e-mail or "spam" is certainly a problem (ENR 2/25 p. 33), but I doubt that most construction companies realize their own complicity.

Spammers obviously get e-mail addresses from somewhere. Employees who sign up for contests, sweepstakes and other freebies should not be using company e-mail. But the most likely source of spam is actually the company Website. Direct marketers can capture any e-mail address listed on a Website using software programs called "extractors," which cost about forty bucks.

The solution is to avoid posting too many e-mail addresses on the company Website. A general mailbox should be established with a size limit and filters to block messages unrelated to company business. A secretary can be assigned to cull it each morning.

Posting e-mail addresses online is no different from being listed in the phone directory. Anyone can contact you–and probably will. Unless a compelling need can be established for publicizing e-mail addresses, companies should only share them with established business partners.


An article on bridge inspection software gave the wrong date for the opening of Michigan’s Zilwaukee Bridge (ENR 3/4 p. 57). It was completed in 1988.

In the article "High-Tech Tools and Hard, Hard Work at FOB Rhino" (ENR 2/25 p. 20), a Seabee unit, NMCB-133, is incorrectly termed a Naval Marine Construction Battalion. The acronym stands for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion.