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RE: Question for East Coast Engineers

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I share your concerns regarding the whole issue of conventional framing.
When I was chair of SEAOC's Building Code Committee was when changes to the
provisions were first being introduced.  Interestingly, there was quite a
split within SEAOC as to what to do.  Some felt passionately that the
provisions should be removed entirely, some felt they needed serious
change, and some felt just as passionately that they should be left alone.
I'm afraid that division still resides within the Association.

I do have a couple of positive suggestions regarding the whole issue:

1)  SEAOC currently has a project with the California Seismic Safety
Commission to develop training materials for building officials on
structural concerns.  We could request that familiarization with
conventional framing concepts and procedures be included within that
program.  (Note To Allen Goldstein:  Is this something which would be
within the scope of the project?).

2)  I would suggest that the concerns be brought to the attention of
building officials again through an article published in ICBO's Building
Standards Magazine.  This would give you and any other engineer the
opprotunity to show (with photographs) the problems.  I could see this
easily expanding into a series of articles from engineers in different
parts of the country and world and the various problems they have

These are the initial steps which need to be taken to raise the awareness
of those who CAN change the provisions that there are serious problems and
engineers are not looking for "engineers full employment" provisions in the

You also raised good points on bankruptcy, walking away from damage
properties, and homes going unrepaired.  Insurance claims to the general
citizens of the Northridge area were $12.5 billion dollars.  How much of
that went to homes conventionally framed I don't know.  I do know that a
number of apartment buildings went unrepaired as owners walked away from
them.  The same happened with a number of single family residences.  I just
don't know the number.

The information that I have been collecting on disaster assistance funds to
private citizens will be used to generate an article for the Disaster
Recovery Journal and possibly Building Standards.  I intend to cover the
concepts of quality control as a way of reducing potential for damage.
This certainly would include inspectors learning about the shortcomings of
conventional framing.