SJI’s Position – Signing & Sealing

SJI’s Position Regarding Signing and Sealing

This position paper is presented to avoid both the misuse of the joist engineer’s professional seal and clarify the responsibilities of the Design Professional of Record.

The steel joist manufacturer shall design the steel joists and / or steel joist girders in accordance with the SJI’s “Standard Specifications”, to support the loads per the specified joist and / or joist girder designations, and / or loading diagrams as specified by the Design Professional of Record. The Design Professional of Record may require the submission of steel joist and / or steel joist girder design calculations.

When steel joist / joist girder design calculations are required, the Steel Joist Manufacturer shall submit a cover letter with the seal and signature of a registered professional engineer, responsible for the product design of the steel joist and / or joist girders.

However, the Joist Manufacturer is not responsible for placing a professional engineer’s seal and signature on joist placement plans. It is critical to note that the term “shop drawings” is referred to as “steel joist placement plans” by the SJI and is not considered design calculations.

Steel joist placement plans are not provided to depict or define a building’s structural system. They are provided to show the steel joist products as an overlay on the structural or architectural plans and as such, the steel joist placement plans are developed for field installation, in accordance with the specific project requirements specified by the Design Professional of Record. If the Joist Manufacturer were to place a professional engineer’s seal and signature on the steel joist placement plans, it would subvert the Design Professional of Record’s responsibilities for the project’s overall structural design.

The SJI takes the position that steel joist placement plans do not require engineering input and therefore do not require the seal and signature of a registered, professional engineer.