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- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: Special Inspections
- From: Richard_Ranous/OES(--nospam--at)oes.ca.gov
- Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:42:47 -0800
Today seems to be my day for being on a soap box. I was glad to see Sandy bring the issue of special inspection for masonry to the listserver. Sometimes it seems like we are taking two steps backwards for every step forward we take. Quality assurance is one of the directions SEAOC is moving in. We lost some of the provisions in the IBC that we worked hard to get in the UBC. We need to work just as hard to get them back into the IBC. Reading the comments from many of you on this subject reminds me of the "battles" and arguments that Bob Bossi and I fought for 6 years to get Structural Observation into the code. Yes, as engineers we can all require continuous inspection of masonry. However, without difinitive guidelines every project becomes different. Establishing some standard guidelines over this listserver can be a big help. However, the major battle will be before the code development committees. The big issue that Bob and I learned is that you present the information in a very positive light. Issues such as continuous inspection lead to many misperceptions with industry and with building officials. Industry claims that additional inspections is unfair to their product and reduces their competitveness. Building inspectors perceive that you are telling them that they don't know how to do their jobs. Neither of these issues are accurate. With good quality control, you can increase the competitiveness of the product. Continuous inspection simply recognizes that building inspectors do not have the time to do the indepth inspection that some products require. This is not taking work from them, it is helping them out in the long run. When we were pushing the structural observation issue we were hit hard with the argument that this was "the full employment act for engineers." Now that it is in the code and being used, more and more jurisidictions are getting behind the concept. They are finding that observation simply adds an additional pair of eyes to make sure the work is done correctly. Special inspections are the same way. I urge the SEAOC code committee to take this issue to the IBC and work to get the quality control procedures back into the code. Work with NCSEA committees and we will eventually get the requirements back. In the meantime, the listserver is a good place to begin to develop standard guidelines. The Code Committee can use that information to develop the requirements and make sure that industry gets behind the changes.
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