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Re: CalTrans Screw Up/ engineering judgement

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In a message dated 97-11-25 18:47:13 EST, you write:

<< In your example, if the engineer specified #5s @ 16" when #4s @ 16" are
 adequate, then shame on the engineer especially when the project is being
 paid for with public funds. In this case, the engineer should be held
 accountable. >>

     I would question the use of the word "adequate". In my opinion, the
uniform building code ( for example )  may be considered adequate by some but
i consider it as an absolute minimum piece of junk that is permitted to be
built.
     Take the example of plywood shear wall height to width ratios. If you
are using 3.5 :1 as allowed by the '94 code , it is adequate. The '97 code
requires 2:1 which my experience reviewing over 1000 Northridge E.Q. damaged
houses makes me feel is more appropriate. Therefore when an engineer uses
 experience / Judgement  and decides to use 2:1 ratio now , before the '97
code is adopted , he may be judged by some to be engineering above "adequate"
and should be "held accountable ". Where is engineering judgement?
      Recently on a hillside ( cliffside ) home i had a contractor say i had
engineered the  house  " 10,000 " times above code... I had followed L.A.
city hillside guidelines in an area where UBC was " adequate "  ( L.A.
guidelines not required ). 
     If i am to be held "accountable "  for anything above "adequate " ( in
addition to below adequate ) i wonder where we are going?


      Tom Harris, SE
      Thousand Oaks, CA
  


     Tom Harris, SE
     Thousand Oaks, CA