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Re: Diaphragm and wall deflections

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At 03:26 PM 3/5/98 EST, you wrote:
>Charles,
>You either have an elephantine memory or extensives files and a great info
>retrieval system.   I had long forgotten this information until you mentioned
>it. 

        Frank, it must be my memory, because my extensive files look like
the inside of Fibber McGee's dumpster that never was hauled away.  I
remember Jim Amrhein's comment being made on the way in to dinner at
California Fat's, a restaurant in an old brick building along Sacramento's
riverfront that had no street-level floor anymore, and was filled with heavy
timbers to resemble the inside of a mine. 
        Another reason I remember is because it was one of the rare times
anyone suggested a code change that didn't tighten the screws or add big
doses of complexity.  But as you noted, Jim didn't push very hard to relax
the 0.005 story drift standard for masonry walls.  Maybe Jim understood then
what I'm beginning to realize now:  simplicity and less stringency are at
odds with how most California Structural Engineers (especially those who
avidly do code work as volunteers) view their mission in life and their
professional image. The more difficult and demanding the task of doing
structural design, the more fulfilling and prestigous it is to be a SE, it
would appear.  -And the fewer who will be able to, as well.
        With each new code edition, the performing of structural design work
increasingly resembles doing Scottish Country Dancing: the object isn't to
accomplish anything creatively, but to painstakingly follow what someone
else has choreographed in advance, and get to the end without mistake or
misstep.
        
        Charles O. Greenlaw, SE      Sacramento, CA


>I was chairman of the ICBO Seismology Code Development Committee in 1986
>when the massive SEAOC code change package was processed.  After reading your
>(earlier) comment, I now recall Jim Amrhein sounding me out on how I would
react
>to a floor motion at the annual meeting to relax the.005 limit.  As you may
>know, during the annual meetings, the various committee chairs sit up on the
>podium to serve as resources for questions that may come up on what transpired
>at the code change committee sessions.  A frequent question is whether a
>specific point or issue had been discussed at those sessions, because no new
>material or issue may be introduced from the floor at the annual meetings.  On
>the issue of the .005 limit, Jim had briefly stated his opinion at the code
>change sessions.  However, I didn't consider there had been sufficient
>discussion of the issue such that  I could recommend to the moderator to allow
>a motion from the floor, and Jim never offered it.
>Frank Lew, SE
>Orinda, CA
>