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Structural observation is expanding in the '97 code

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      After reviewing the '97 code maps of active near source fault zones to
be used with the UBC i noticed UBC Sec 1702 item #3 expands structural
observation in CA to include many buildings when the Na exceeds 1.0 as within
5 kilometers of an A fault or 2 kilometers of a B fault.  This is going to be
a shock to many. This includes the following areas in CA:
Eureka/Arcata, Ukiah, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Napa, the East Bay area,
Concord, Danville, Watsonville, Monterey, Paso Robles, San luis Obispo to
Pismo Beach, Santa Maria to Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara to Camarillo and Santa
Clarita, Mammoth, Bishop, Malibu, San Fernando to Pasadena, Santa Monica,
Newport to inglewood, Palos Verdes, Whittier to Chino, Barstow, San Bernadino,
San Diego, Desert hot springs to Coachella, Brawley to El Centro and others.
Some cities are only partial.
     So in the above areas the '97 code requires the engineer to visit the
site to perform structural observation on all buildings over two strories as
well as the following 1 & 2 story :
All assembly ( bars and restaurants over 50 occupants, church, movie theater,
Auditorium, etc)
Educational ( already done by state except private schools and day care > 6
H occupancies ( Woodworking shop, repair garage w/ open flame or flammable
liquids, semiconductor, explosive, etc.)
Hotels, Apartments, Condos, Triplex.
      So , if you are now entering a contract to engineer a 1 story motel in
Barstow or a 1 story restaurant (> 50 occupants) in Santa Barbara or a 3 story
office in Montery, you will need to be there during construction if it is
submitted after the '97 code is adopted ( Jan 1999?).
    This is my personal interpretation and i would welcome others to comment.
     In L.A. and Ventura County where i mainly work structural observation has
been mandatory since after the Northridge earthquake. It also has been
required by "94 code for assembly buildings ( > 300 occupants)  like movie
theaters and churches , but i suspect it has been ignored by many. I'm not
sure the local building official even knew this ( or wanted to know ) until i
pointed it out. It has been one of the best things to happen to my business as
well as for improving construction quality. I would encourage all engineers to
support this and help the local building officials require this. Also, local
interpretation has been to require a P.E. level minimum and not EIT level

     Tom Harris , SE
     Thousand Oaks, CA