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Re: Question for East Coast Engineers[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
- Subject: Re: Question for East Coast Engineers
- From: "Mike Brown" <mike.brown(--nospam--at)cshqa.com>
- Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 15:39:03 -0600
After reading this trail about lateral loads on the East Coast, I have to put my two cents in. I am currently living and working in Boise, Idaho. Seismic zone 2B and 70 mph wind speeds. Mr.. Mike Zaitz brings up an interesting topic: "To my knowledge on a typical house the framer gets >to frame it how he or she wants and then the building inspector either >signs off on it or requires an engineer to look at a particular problem." This comment is pretty much true here in Boise. I must say this is very frustrating for a lot of the local engineers. The builders are able to draw permits to build houses that do not meet code per structural issues. The comment they get is to provide engineering for: the walls at the garage doors, bay windows, etc.. Basically, anywhere there is not enough shear wall, provide engineering. Sounds O.K., right. Wrong. The builders still get the permit and build the house without engineering. Here's the catch: The building inspector reminds them that they need engineering and will not sign off on the project until they get the engineering done. Our problem is that the house is built and the builders want us to come up with the miracle solution to solve their problem, besides "they've built this same house many times before and never had a problem." The point is this: The building officials should require engineering for the houses that do not meet current conventional construction before issuing a permit. With the new code, how am I going to justify the use of a 2 foot shear wall with a 9 foot plate height (code requires a 2 to 1 aspect ratio)? Sorry for rambling on. I believe that many of the engineers understand lateral load paths, but the real battle is with the builders and general public. In a relatively low seismic zone and wind speeds, the builders and general public assumes we are over designing since there has not been any local collapses of structures. In turn, this means a lot of structures may get built without an engineer's input and therefore no lateral support.
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