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Re: Performance Objectives

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Per Bruce Resnick: 
> Perhaps we could codify structures into A, B, and C levels.   
> "C" level would be code minimum as it exists now.  Levels "A"  
> and "B" could represent code increases in lateral design (say  
> 25% or 50% more seismic), and vertical design (higher live  
> load and/or deflection criteria).  The advantage to codifying  
> this is that the developer/builder/owner could then legitimately  
> increase the value of the property by saying it was built to  
> code level "A" or "B" and there would be permits to prove it.   
> Maybe this would also increase the public awareness as to what  
> people are buying. 
I think such classifications would be great, if we could get the code writers 
to do it.  The bare minimums could be the default, but a client could require 
a higher classification by contract and "essential" facilities could be code 
required to meet a higher classification. 
I've been thinking along similar lines that structures should be classified 
according to quality requirements for design.  Higher classification levels of 
structures should have a higher specified level of quality control (such as 
required independent checking of design calculations, independent peer review, 
documentation of interdiscipline cross-checking, etc).  I've been thinking 
that this should be covered in standard contracts for engineering services.  
The purchaser should have the choice of specifying increased levels of quality 
control if willing to spend a little more money for design.   
Currently, I have great difficulty with the lack of definition of quality 
requirements in current standard engineering contracts.  The EJCDC standard 
contract documents only require conformance to the "Standard of Care".  This 
is a very loose term and is subject to interpretation.  Unfortunately, I've 
seen significant variation in the standard of care in the industry I work in 
and clients do not seem to be given the means to directly control the standard 
of care.  The engineering industry needs to work on this.  (I've suggested to 
a couple of members of ACEC that this be addressed.)  Where the purchaser of 
engineering services must make choices, some items may be better addressed in 
the contract for services rather than in building codes.