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Re: Housing Performance Objectives

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Regarding Dennis Wish's post on maintaining minimum standards, here's my
opinion:

Since we cannot just remove the conventional framing section of the code, then
let's work on revising or upgrading it to conform to minimum standards. I
think what has been happening is that as code changes through the years, we
upgrade the seismic provisions of the sections for engineered houses but we
don't upgrade the conventional framing section. 

Let's work backwards in the calculation to determine the amount of shear and
uplift a braced wall is subjected to based on the maximum spacing of braced
walls allowed and based on minimum seismic loads for engineered houses. Then
let's recommend that the plywood shear wall nail spacing and uplift straps or
hold-downs be revised to conform to this revised calculations. 

There would not be a lot of objections to this one since it involves a very
small additional cost, we still keep the conventional framing section of the
code, and we upgraded it to the minimum standards. What I'm trying to do is to
keep everybody happy. Nothing is perfect but hopefully, we can all live with
compromises.

If we can do this type of upgrading to the other provisions of the
conventional framing section, including adding additional provisions for
connections to roofs framing that are missing or any other things that anyone
may find less than minimum standards, then we can get this code section to be
equivalent to the engineered house section. The only problem might be how to
get draftsmen to put it in structural plan form correctly without an engineer
reviewing it, how to get the plan checker to make sure the plans are per code,
and how to get the contractor to build  it per plan (assumming the plan was
done right). Possible solutions to these potential problems are commentary
with sketches to illustrate the proper interpretation of the code
provisions(similar to the prescriptive requirements for metal studs for
houses); training for plan checkers to make sure the plans conform to code and
for building inspectors to make sure the houses are built per plan; requiring
structural observation by an engineer to make sure the provisions of the code
is followed....

We don't have to wait  a long time to get some of these revisions to the code.
Let's try and convince ICBO and the different building departments to issue
addendums or bulletins  now, and then  get the code fully revised later

Ernie Natividad.