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Enercalc's Structural Engineering Library Survey

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Thanks for the response. This is more like the dialog I have had with you
and Enercalc the past ten years. I'm looking forward to you subsequent
In all fairness to my previous posts, I would like to add this to the list

A few other comments peppered throughout...

> From: Michael Brooks <mdbrooks(--nospam--at)>
> To: Bill Allen, S.E. <BAllenSE(--nospam--at)>
> Subject: Re: RetainPro 
> Date: Friday, August 22, 1997 12:27 PM
> Dear Bill:
> At 08:51 AM 8/22/97 -0700, you wrote:
> >I take grievous offense to your belief that you think only you and your
> >father can properly design retaining walls since I don't believe you or
> your father
> >actually do that for a living.
> This comment surprised me, so I reread what I had written. My comments
> aimed at collecting information from various sources and publishing them
> for all to use, since we so many different opinions about what should be
> And, it's true we don't design retaining walls for a living, but a
> 50 years of experience in hands-on design, plus a combined 20 years
> directly to engineers nationwide about the topic, does give us a few
> >When was the last time you designed a retaining wall from a soils
> >report
> 2 months ago....did it by hand for "fun"!

You're a sick person, Michael.

> >and not some pie in the sky theoretical soil coefficient?
> Don't quite get the comparison there.

For most of us I believe that using the Rankine method is pretty much "pie
in the sky" because it is not the design criteria the typical soils reports
I've seen contain.

> >Stop trying to sell the Rankine method, I don't think it will work (the
> >sell, not the method).
> I'm not trying to sell it, just bring it up because the nature of the
> method can explain many questions to engineers wondering where the "EFP"
> forces come from and how & when to apply them.
> >However, I think you, as a software author, should spend more time
> listening to
> >practicing engineers (your customer base) rather than preaching to them.
> I agree that the customer should always be closely listened to, because
> they are the ones who we build our future upon. It's too bad some
> are so busy cranking out the work that the researching of the
> is a "luxury".

I absolutely agree. I know that some engineers blindly put values into a
software program, take the results and put them on the plans with
essentially the only goal is to see how fast they can get the engineering
out the door and write an invoice. When the footings (and other design
elements) are reviewed by contractors, they (the contractors) get some sort
of prima dona response.

>If I can shed some light sometimes to help someone I like to
> do it. I certainly am not of the opinion that as a software developer I
> "know how to do it all". Quite the's a daily fight to keep
> with industry practices.

How about keeping up with the UBC :o) ? Talk about a moving target.

> >It just seems to me that it should be fairly easy to put a "check box"
> >the program to allow the user to use Pv with EFP method, level backfill
> >even if only 1/3*Ph is used. For walls with a "zero" heel, maybe
> >else to represent the friction between wall and backfill material (check
> >box w/input value?). 
> Nice suggestion..and simple to implement. I'll see what I can do about
> adding it to the Structural Library version.
> Finally...
> We are preparing a maintenance release 5.0.2 of the SEL/Windows shortly,
> and if you have any additional suggestions for specific enhancements to
> of the modules I may still have time to build them in.
> We'll be sending the software to the CD-ROM house about September 5th so
> there is a little time left. (It will be mailed to all users
> and at no charge).
Thanks. You have given me about two weeks to remember everything on my
"wish list".

> Sincerely,
> Michael D. Brooks, S.E.
> President

I would also like to take this opportunity to pose a survey type question
to the list service although I do not expect Enercalc to respond to the
results of the survey. I am curious how many design engineers out there
would buy and use a spreadsheet version (Excel) of Enercalc's Structural
Engineering Library based on current codes, etc. This would allow each
design engineer to customize their spreadsheets to their own practice.

My hand is raised, so the current talley is:
Yes 1
No 0

Thanks again
Bill Allen