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[SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: Quality of Engineering - Checking[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: dtowens(--nospam--at)cogent.net
- Subject: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: Quality of Engineering - Checking
- From: IteUrsi(--nospam--at)gnn.com (Franklin Lew)
- Date: Sat, 21 Sep 1996 20:53:25
- Cc: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
>Quality checking in engineering, continued. I remember reading a >few years ago about the parking structure at CalState Northridge, >the one that collapsed. It seems the reviewer for the Office of >the State Architect would not sign off on the design because he >felt it would not survive an earthquake. The contractor shopped >around and got one, or was it two, engineers to certify the >design. The structure was built, and it did indeed collapse. This is not correct. State of California projects, whether designed by the design branch of DSA, or by outside consultants, are not given structural plan checks by the structural safety branch of DSA. In fact, State projects can be built without any independent plan check at all! Major mistakes can and have occurred. A notable example is the Undergraduate Library on the Berkeley campus, designed in the '70s by a well known firm that bears the name of a prominent professor on the campus. A decade after it was built, the structure was evaluated as part of a project to evaluate the seismic performance of all U.C. buildings. The evaluation of the structure revealed major design deficiencies that required costly seismic strengthening work. Most folks who are familiar with the case believe an independent plan check would have found these serious errors in judgment. For the CSU Northridge structure, the CSU project manager did contract for an independent plan check by Esgil, a firm that performs plan checks for many jurisdictions. Esgil had serious concerns, and didn't sign off. What happened after that depends on who one hears the story from. For one version, readers may contact Dick Esgate at Esgil (in San Diego). For another, readers can contact Chuck Thiel, structural consultant retained by CSU in the aftermath of Northridge (he's in the EERI roster). Frank Lew, S.E. ...
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