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Management vs Engineer (was FEMA 273)

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On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Brian Kehoe wrote:
> BTW, why do you need a copy of FEMA 273?  It is not complete yet
> and there are some people that still have major concerns about the
> provisions.

We sometimes have to grapple with the problem with seismic 
retrofitting of old structures to make them compliant with 
the latest codes.  Sometimes, we also provide advice on the
retrofitting techniques for deteriorated/damaged structures,
particularly following earthquakes.  In general, our advice
and suggestions are based on our research work in this field
and based on the research carried out by people all over the 
world.  Even though our advice is specific to the Indian 
condition and takes into account the local construction 
practice, it is still good to compare it with some 
concensus document.  Inspite of the fact that FEMA-273 is not
yet a final document, it does reflect the concensus of a 
very large number of researchers and consultants working
in this field.

We intend to provide copies of the relevant portions of FEMA-273
to the appropriate persons in government and industry who otherwise
tend to recommend demolition of any damaged structure even if it
can easily be repaired.  We do hope that this will help in 
sensitising them on this issue so that their decisions also reflect
the current state-of-the-practice.

While I do not know the initial reaction of managements in the 
US when dealing with code-deficient structures, in India it is 
one of "safety first".  By safety, I mean conservatism in decisions
rather than structural safety.  Nobody wants his decisions to be 
shown as endangering public or worker safety several years later.
It is up to us (the earthquake engineering community) to assist 
them with the best technical information so that a technically
appropriate decision is taken.

BTW, after the lengthy discussions on plan checkers vs structural
designers thread, are we ready for a MANAGEMENT VS. ENGINEER thread??


ravi sinha

Ravi Sinha, Ph.D.		email: rsinha(--nospam--at)
Assistant Professor		       rsinha(--nospam--at)
Department of Civil Engineering	       Phone: (91-22)-578-2545 Ext. 7336
IIT, Powai, Bombay - 400 076, India    Fax: (91-22)-578-3480, 578-3557