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Re: Disaster dilemma

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FLew98 wrote:
> The vast majority of safety assessment inspections in Loma Prieta and
> Northridge were NOT performed by volunteers who had building structural design
> backgrounds or had  'required training and ...structural courses'.  
Who are they then, carpenters or god?

> I know this first hand - as the CALBO disaster coordinator for the Bay Area when
> Northridge hit, I found, scheduled and sent over sixty people on three day
> stints of assessment duty.  They performed over a thousand assessments.  Only
> a handful of the assessors were engineers.
If they are neither engineers or volunteers with some structural
background or 
training. What else can they be? 

> By far, the greatest public request and need for safety assessments are on
> smaller scale wood-frame buildings, mostly single family residences.  That's
> not surprising since these comprise 90+ percent of our building stock.  For
> such assessments, common sense is much more useful than engineering knowledge.
You said: WOOD FRAME BUILDINGS ARE COMMON SENSE. No No, don't let Dennis
Wish read this! Wood framing is not as simple as you may think. I
personally know some PHD's and SE's who can easily get lost in wood
framing and plywood shear wall framing design, not to mention
construction.  I have done highrise, lowrise, wood, concrete, steel,
masonry etc. The largest custom house I had designed is 11,000 sq. ft.
on a hill side and the tallest building building I had designed (not all
by myself) is about 40 story tall.  By far, I think wood framing of
custom built single family house is the toughest of all.

> Some engineer volunteers at both earthquakes tacitly acknowledged this by
> objecting to assignments to assess such 'trivial' structures. 

I don't think so, those could be the SE's that Dennis quoted as "not
knowledgeable in wood framing". If they haven't designed a wood
structure, how can they assess safety of that type of wood structure.

> They only wanted to assess engineered structures that would make use of their expertise.
> Not for them such penny-ante structures that a carpenter with common sense
> could assess as well.  But there weren't enought of these glamorous assigments
> to go around, and some of these folks left in a huff and never returned.

It should be up to the group leader to assign.

> To my knowledge, in both Loma Prieta and Northridge, there are no documented
> cases where a building that was green-placarded by a non-engineer assessor
> subsequently caused injuries to occupants due to aftershocks or other
> structural failures and falling debris.

Thanks god, that had not happened or WE will all be sorry for the poor
occupant.  It doesn't mean it won't happen next time. Can one assure
Why put the safety of someone at risk?