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Re: Wood: Conventional Framing opinions needed from other states -Reply

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I think there are several reasons to question the use of conventional
framing provisions for lateral force resistance. 

1. Conventional framing provisions require less story strength than the
minimums allowed for engineered designs.

2. Deaths and personal injury HAVE occurred in buildings which met or
exceeded the conventional framing provisions since engineered buildings
typically provide more story strength than these provisions. 

3. The use of design standards should be consistent. Either the
conventional framing provisions should be raised to meet or exceed the
minimum engineered standards or vice versa. After seeing the effects of
the Northridge Earthquake on engineered wood frame buildings, would
anyone propose a LOWERING of the minimum engineering standard?

4. Engineering is supposed to "do for a dollar what any fool can do for
two" by colloquial definition. An engineered structure should be MORE
economical, not more conservative than non-engineered designs. The
conventional standards should be more (or at least as)  conservative as
the engineered design, not more economical.  Building codes should not
allow less strength when less professional judgement and oversight
exist..

These are my opinions and I welcome yours.

Tim McCormick, Author
Division 93-City of Los Angeles Retrofit Standard for Existing Wood
Frame Residential Buildings with Soft, Weak & Open Front Wall Lines