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Fwd: Conventional Framing in UBC

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Pardon my duplication of Bill Allen's comments, but I started a new =
thread regarding this issue:

-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Allen, S.E. [SMTP:ballense(--nospam--at)concentric.net]
Sent:	Friday, April 04, 1997 10:29 AM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
Subject:	Re: plywood shear transfer detail

This response may apply to two threads. Based on the "Conventional =
Framing
Provisions" of the UBC, the top plates are nailed with 16d @ 16". Of
course, this is only good for about 140 PLF. I believe that the nailing =
of
the top plates together should be part of the shear wall schedule as =
would
be the sole plate nailing, etc.

Now for the "Convention Framing Provisions" issue. While this seciton of
the Code is handy for a junior engineer to get a feel for what the
"minimums" might be, this section of the Code is perceived by many
(Contractors and Architects) as "Standard" framing. As soon as we =
specify
anything greater than this, we are subject to the criticism of
over-engineering. There are several sections to this Code where it is =
not
appropriate even for the simplest of structures. For example, the face
nailing of the roof rafter to the ceiling joist will not transfer the
tension forces induced by truss action of roof framing. Top plate =
splices
are another example.

I believe either this section should be removed from the Code or the
disclaimers should me made more obvious so that it doesn't mislead
Contractors or Architects. I compare this section of the Code to the
standard details provided by many building departments for the "famous"
6'-0" block fences which don't calc. either.

Regards,
Bill Allen


[Dennis S. Wish PE]  It is time that we start to act as a group to =
obliterate the conventional framing section of the code. This section =
does not address connections of interior braced walls (shearwalls) to =
the roof. It also does not reference the provisions of Chapter 16 except =
to make a prescriptive measure out of an already complicated design =
procedure.=20
Another example is section 2326.11.4 where it describes an alternative =
braced wall panel without concern for tributary area of shear =
transferred to the panel or concern of uplift exceeding the 1800 pounds =
that it prescribes. It does not address connections of interior braced =
panels except to limit their spacing to 25 feet. I actually inspected a =
building where the panels were spaced 25 feet. They were anchored (an =
with holddowns) placed into a 3 1/2" thick slab (into the dirt) and =
stopped at the ceiling rafters. The walls were parallel to the roof =
framing and stopped at the Gypsum ceiling. When questioning the =
"designer" he indicated that he thought it was odd, but that the code =
did not instruct how the walls were to be connected and that the =
building official (who did not have a CE employed to do over the counter =
plan check) accepted it since it was in accordance with this section of =
the code. LUDICROUS!!!!
I suggest that each of you who are interested in this section read it =
and document its deficiencies.
The purpose of this section is to provide the minimum prescriptive =
method to construct a "conventionally" framed wood structure by other =
than a licensed professional (Architect or Engineer) and assumes, but =
does not demand, that the designer have knowledge of other sections of =
the code such as 1806.6.
Must I remind each of you that the requirements for the licensing of =
General Contractor does not test the applicants ability to "know" =
framing sections of the Uniform Building Code. Therefore, why should =
ICBO empower the non-professional with a building standard that he =
neither understands or knows how to interpret. This is the job of a =
trained professional. I challenge anyone to poll the construction =
industry to see how many copies of the UBC are owned and regularly used =
by General Contractors (specifically Framers) who do not also poses an =
engineering or architectural degree or license.
To make matters worse, the building official had the power to interpret =
the definition of "Conventional Framing" in the 1991 UBC. At this time, =
Conventional framing was widely believed to represent the small 800 to =
1000 square box constructed after the end of the second world war - when =
it was necessary to meet the housing demand of the returning soldier. =
The 1994 code extends the provisions to irregular shaped structures up =
to and including two stories. Furthermore, it includes structures with =
plated or fabricated wood trusses as well as proprietary hardware =
without instruction as to its installation and use.
Isn't there enough problems in the industry with the discontinuity of =
responsibility between the truss manufacturer and the engineer of =
record? We have already identified a lack of proper detailing when the =
Contractor provides the plan of the home and the truss manufacturer =
provides the roof plan. Who coordinates how the trusses are to be =
connected to the walls when an engineer or architect is omitted from the =
equation?????
Now lets talk about the building official. In Los Angeles and other =
large cities, the building official has the power to deny this section =
of the code. The building official in a smaller community is at odds =
with the City Council and the Developer/Builder who constructs more than =
a few of these monstrosities in his jurisdiction. If ICBO allows it and =
the UBC is adopted for all of its other sections, the building official =
is forced to accept the provisions of this section - unless he wants to =
look for another job or has a VERY understanding City Council. The lobby =
for construction dollars and low cost housing is so strong that the =
councils would rather claim ignorance of the code frailties than lose =
the  construction revenue. The politics is too strong to overturn the =
building officials ruling. If he disagrees with the provisions, the =
council will find someone that will accept it.=20
I spoke with an engineer in Northern Calfornia (I don't know if he wants =
me to mention his name) the other day to expound on this issue. If the =
engineering community is not able to (or does not have the voting power =
on the floor of ICBO) to remove or revise this section of the code, we =
at least have an ally.  The Insurance industry wants to minimize their =
loses by improving construction quality and strengthen weak designs. =
Without the lobbying that the Insurance industry did, we would not have =
adopted the UCBC Appendix Chapter 5 for retrofit of lighweight wood =
framed structures. Enlist their help!=20
Stop making this California's problem - it extends to every area of the =
country that is affected by wind, water and earthquakes. If we are =
moving toward a national code, then we need to enlist the opinions and =
help of engineers accross the country. Don't neglect the rural or low =
density area's since the building booms will probably be headed in their =
directions (ie, Southern Utah, Blue Mounds Wisconsin to name a few). =
These areas are quickly increasing in ecconomic potential by their =
proximity to major citys and highways. We need to help these areas build =
quality structures.
Finally, it is not a matter of just personal safety any longer when the =
financial burden to rebuild damaged homes will either strap a family or =
force them to abandon their obligation as what happened in Loma Prieta =
and areas of the country ravaged by floods and hurricanes.
Every one of you that is concerned should make sure that each board =
member of your SEA chapter (and CASE) be made aware of the consensus of =
the Internet community and create the proper channels to promote =
legislative change. Unfortunately matters will only get worse unless we =
start to empower our professional community (nationally) on these =
issues.
Copy the threads, stick them in an envelope, pay the 32 cents and send =
them to as many structural engineering professionals, building =
officials, insurance executives and architects as you can. Demand that =
the proper steps (committees) be taken to accumulate, assimilate, and =
draft change. Lobby for the votes necessary to adopt the changes in the =
name of safety in structural engineering!
I'm off the soapbox now - NEXT?

Dennis Wish PE

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Subject: Conventional Framing in UBC
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__________________________________________________

Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team
rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
may turn to for technical assistance and know-how.