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Re: engineers and single family houses

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>I believe change will only come when the insurance companies reduce 
>premiums for
>'engineered' construction.  I see no other way to get Joe Public to insist on
>'engineering' than to put money in *his* pocket.  Attempts by the design
>professional community and the code authors fail without a strong financial
Actually that's the way it worked in the pressure vessel industry. When 
people can't get insurance for the boilers you sell, you have a powerful 
incentive to start doing better work. Problem is that everyone has to 
follow the same rules. If you let bottom-feeders off the hook, nobody 
wants to follow the rules.

Fear is also a strong motivator. The Minneapolis paper is running a 
series on ventilation and moisture-related problems. We don't have 
earthquakes, but we do have winters. Turns out a great many new houses, 
generally upscale, are ventilated so poorly that trapped moisture causes 
structural air quality problems, including backdrafting and CO poisoning. 
Houses which are supposedly built to code, aren't, and no one seems to be 
held accountable. I think a strong public awareness of horror stories 
from sloppy structural and mechanical design is very important in 
beginning a demand for proper codes and their enforcement. Minnesota is 
in the throes of upgrading its energy code to provide for proper air 
quality and the newspaper articles are helping fuel public awareness and 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)