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Re: Performance Objectives

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Per Dennis Wish: 
>I seem to be missing the point here.  There is no difference in minimum  
>standards of automobiles or virtually any other product on the market.  A  
>minimum standard should be a point of reference that all products are  
>compared against.  Those that don't meet minimum standards are off the  
>market.  Structural engineering needs to be the same.  
I'll give you one point you are missing - you cannot compare the automobile 
industry (or other common consumer products) with structural engineering, with 
regard to performance standards.  In the automobile industry, one manufacturer 
puts out thousands of similar products which can be statistically tracked with 
regard to performance and are regularly tested by consumer organizations.  And 
defects generally show up in short order.  In structural engineering, one 
engineer produces relatively few structures in which defects may not show up 
for many years (or until the next big earthquake).  And I don't know of any 
groups tracking the performance of structures by various engineers.  It is not 
as easy for the consumer to identify differences in quality of design in our 
>Finally, we need only one minimum - a standard that everything we do is  
>compared against. 
Personally, I would like to see more guidance in industry standards as to 
design guidelines for reduced damage in structures vs primarily life safety.  
If not set up as code minimums, they could at least provide methodology to 
achieve the desired results where a client opts for improved performance.