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Re: [SEAOC] RE: Cost of building codes

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"Bill Sherman" <SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)cdm.com> wrote:
>Your idea to pay for codes with taxes sounds great - except that ICBO is not a 
>governmental agency with taxing authority.  If you can get the state or 
>municipalities to collect a new tax and donate it to ICBO, that would permit 
>publication price reductions - but how are you going to get the new taxes 
>passed?  ACI and AISC also develop codes and make money selling codes as 
>publications - they can't collect taxes from builders but have to charge 
>engineers and voluntary member organizations for development costs.  Is ICBO 
>any different?  Should we raise taxes and have a new building code sent to 
>every household each time a new code comes out (like IRS does with tax forms)? 
> We can't expect "free codes". 

        Your point may become moot with the next couple of code revisions.
It's my understanding that, by the year 2000, there will be one model code
for the entire USA rather than the three codes now in use (UBC, Basic,
Southern). I heard that, in the process of revision, ICBO is considering
"adoption by reference". That's where the Code would have one paragraph in a
chapter saying something like "Use ASCE 7 (?) for Wind Design" or "Use SEAOC
Blue Book for Seismic Design". The adoption by reference I've described
could reduce the actual body of the code immensely with a compensurate
reduction in price.
        Incidentally, when ICBO first came out with the 1994 UBC on CDROM, I
asked them why they charged so much for the CDROM as opposed to the books.
They told me it was because they had to recoup their initial production
costs based on the number of CDROM's they expected to sell. It still seemed
pretty steep to me...
                - Terry

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