Peer Review: Old Concept in New Situations

by John P. Gnaedinger, (F.ASCE), Pres.; Soil Testing Services, Inc., Northbrook, Ill.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 2, Pg. 45-47

Document Type: Feature article


In the past, clients treated their engineering consultants as the fallible human beings they are. No longer is this true. Today there is more pressure, by clients and courts, for error-free performance. Clients have even been known to sue their own consultants over cost overruns in bids or in finished construction. To reduce errors and omissions, cut costs, some owners (including some federal agencies) are pushing value engineering, meaning additional review of design by contractors and/or designers. Another name for it is peer review. This means a performance approach. That is, permit freedom for cost-cutting innovation by specifying not that the building be of brick, for instance, but that it must withstand various design loads (which are given). This is an overview of the peer review idea.

Subject Headings: Client relationships | Consulting services | Peer review | Value engineering | Building design | Human factors | Construction costs | Bids

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