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EGR/BUS 445, Section 01 Exam 1: Winter Quarter 2010



This is a take home exam. It is due at 4:00 p.m. Monday, February 9, 2009 in our classroom. There is no limit to the amount of time you may spend on this exam so long as it is submitted on time.

Collaboration policy

This exam is an individual effort exercise. You may not collaborate with or receive assistance from any person in preparing your answers to this exam. There is one exception to this policy; you may consult with the University Writing Center to aid you in the written presentation of your answers. If you do consult the Writing Center, you must document who helped you and the nature of the help received.

Submittal requirement

This exam consists of 2 parts. All answers must be double spaced using Times New Roman font at 12 points, and 1” margins on all sides. Page lengths are specified on each question.

You will submit the completed exam in two separate packages, one for each part. Each package will be complete, have page numbers, be stapled, and have your name on each page. Your response to each part must be submitted as a separate package.

Part I: Standard of Care & Liability (100 points)

1. Answer the following questions assuming you are a licensed civil engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Each answer should take only a few sentences. (5 points each)

a. Define the professional standard of care you must follow

b. You are asked to provide design services for a new bridge over the Los Angeles River using new lightweight composite materials that have not previously been used in bridge construction. Define what criteria you would use to establish the proper professional standard of care;

c. You are asked to design a conventional arch-type bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. Assuming Thailand has laws similar to the U.S., define the specific standard of care you must follow; and

d. You are hired to design a freeway overpass to accommodate traffic at 55 miles per hour. During the first month of operation, four cars with bald tires traveling at 60 miles per hour have spun off the overpass killing all occupants. Discuss Actual and Proximate Cause as it relates to professional negligence against you the engineer.

Use the following scenario to answer question 2 below.

Cyrus (Cy) Anora, a professional civil engineer, prepares a traditional tilt-up design for prefabricated industrial buildings for his client, Engulf & Devour Corporation. E & D plans on erecting the same building in light industrial parks all over the country. E & D requests that Anora make changes in the initial design to reduce the amount of steel framing, rebar, and

concrete by shifting to a superior grade of concrete and using a lighter and narrower steel frame.

E & D anticipates that concrete and steel will become more and more expensive and that there

will be future shortages because the Chinese and the Indians will keep buying more and more. Anora makes the requested changes, but then informs E & D that although the changes will clearly work, it “might be a good idea” to subject the new design to destructive vibration testing of several tenth-scaled models; Anora tells E & D about a theoretical increased the risk of harmonic instability under highly unusual circumstances possibly leading to an increased risk of

collapse in a moderate earthquake. E & D’s engineers review and approve the new design; they agree that scaled model testing is always a “good idea,” but is not necessary, and E & D rejects the idea to save both time and money.

Three years later, in an industrial building built with the new design, a forklift operator, Ure

Toast, mistakenly shifts into reverse and slams his forklift backwards into one of the walls, taking a small chunk out of the concrete base and punching a hole in the wall. An eerie vibrating sound is heard and then the wall collapses on Toast and brings down the whole building. Toast

is killed and several other people are seriously injured. Toast’s estate sues E & D and Anora for

professional negligence.

At trial, Toast’s lawyer introduces the testimony of an expert civil engineer who states that any competent civil engineer should have known that the new plans and specifications should have been subjected to detailed destructive testing and that E & D’s engineers should have done more than merely reviewed Anora’s work, but rather have independently done the strength calculations, and therefore discovered the actual, not merely theoretical deficiencies in the

design. E & D defends by arguing that it was entitled to rely on Anora and that its engineering review is limited to the overall design, not the details. Anora and E & D defend further by claiming that the revised plans and specifications were safe and that Anora’s concern was only theoretical and in reference to an earthquake. His expert testifies that the collapse of the building under the actual circumstances was not foreseeable.

Apply the IRAC methodology (Issue, Rules, Analysis, Conclusion) to the issue of negligence. Include discussion of any relevant affirmative defenses. To apply IRAC, properly, first state the legal question. In the Rules, define professional negligence and each of its elements and relevant defenses to it. Discuss the proof or lack thereof for each element or defense in the Analysis. Make full use of the facts and testimony. Be sure to specifically state the standard of care you are using as to the first element. State your Conclusion at the end and make any allocation of comparative fault.

2. Based on the above scenario, provide a one paragraph answer to each of the following questions. (20 points each)

a. What standard of care is applicable to each of the following persons or groups:

E&D's engineers, Anora, Toast?

b. Did E&D's engineers breach their standard of care? Why or why not? Use all applicable facts.

c. If you find that E&D's engineers breached their standard of care, was that breach the Actual and Proximate Cause of Toast's death? Why or why not? Use all applicable facts.

d. State your conclusion as to whether E&D's engineers were negligent, including your complete analysis of comparative fault assigning percentage fault to each party that you believe is responsible for Toast's death.

Part II: Risk & Project Delivery (100 points)

You are an engineer employed by the City of Mountainside. The city council has asked your department to manage renovation the Veterans’ Memorial Recreational Center (VMRC) constructed in 1961. VMRC is a remarkable example of the local Inland Stone Craftsmen style and is listed on the state and federal historic building registers. VMRC does not meet current seismic standards and must be brought up to standards. In addition asbestos containing materials were used in the original construction and must be abated or removed during the renovation. You do not have a detailed scope of work. The city has completed the planning process, identified the general scope of the project and developed a program cost. The scope includes:

Seismic upgrade, program cost: $12 million

Asbestos abatement, program cost: $3 million

Historic façade restoration: $5-6 million depending on extent of restoration

Expansion/upgrade of the aquatics center. $4-7 million depending on size of expansion

All of the program cost estimates are based on total design and construction costs (TDCC). The seismic upgrades and asbestos abatement are essential to the project. The façade restoration and aquatics center expansion are highly desired by the city but not essential; this work could be completed later under a separate project, but that would increase costs.

The city currently has an approved bond of $17 million. The city is has also applied for an additional $9 million of federal stimulus funds. However, to receive the stimulus funds, the city must be ready to let a construction contract in 18 months. This is a very aggressive schedule. Historically the city has used a traditional Design-Bid-Build project delivery method which generally takes 2-3 years to get from the end of the planning phase to the start of construction.

Through extensive meetings with the Mountainside city council, you have established the following goals for this project, in priority order from highest to lowest:

1. Hire qualified designers and builders who will deliver high quality work

2. Ensure critical seismic upgrades and asbestos abatement are completed

3. Get the stimulus funds

4. Complete as much of the façade restoration and aquatics center expansion as funds allow

Your meetings with the city council have narrowed the potential delivery methods to: Design- Bid-Build, Design/Build Best Value, and Design/Build QBS. The board has asked you to bring a final recommendation for the best delivery method to the board meeting next week.

Present your response in two sections as outlined below. Your response should be no more than five double-spaced typed pages using 12 point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, including all figures and tables.

Section 1: Evaluate the risks associated with achieving the project objectives using a risk matrix. Identify at least 6 important threats, define your probability and cost scales, evaluate the risks and list the threats in order from highest to lowest risk.

Section 2: Prepare a written analysis and recommendation for the city council. To do this you must analyze each of the three potential delivery methods to determine how well each method mitigates risks identified in Part A. After analyzing each delivery method, you must, recommend a delivery method and explain why this method was chosen. You must also describe of how you would evaluate potential bidders for your selected method.

Part II: Grading Rubric

The following guidelines will be used to grade question #2

Risk Assessment

Were the identified threats specific?

How important were the threats identified?

Were the cost and probability scales clearly identified?

Were the threats listed properly from highest to lowest risk?

Analysis of each delivery method

Were the selection process and contract structure clearly identified and correct?

Were the most important advantages and disadvantages identified?

Was the analysis fair and accurate, biased, or inaccurate?

How well did the analysis focus on the identified project goals?

How well did the analysis make use of the risk assessment?

Recommended method

Is there a clear recommendation?

Does the recommendation flow logically from the analyses presented?

Is the recommendation tied to the project goals and risk?

Did the recommendation include a general description of how cost and/or quality of bids would be evaluated?

Overall effectiveness

Did the grammar and quality of writing enhance, not affect, or detract from the intended message?

Did the writer convince the reader that the recommended delivery method is the best?