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RE: Question for East Coast Engineers

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I think you need to read what was published in the '97 UBC. I would think
that your response is more accurate for the IBC not the '97 Code. '97 is
exactly the same as the '94 code - nothing has changed or been added.
This would mean that the concerns you have discussed won't be picked up
until the IBC is adopted if it is event to occur in that code.
General Question: If I were to devote a web page (the Independent A&E
website will be launched in the very near future - a week or a bit more)
would others be willing to devote a little rhetoric and some construction
photo's to draw some attention to this problem and the fact that it is not
restricted to California? Maybe NAHB will take some notice as soon as they
see the problems publicized.
BTW, the LGSEA works closely with NAHB in the development of the Cold-form
steel section of the code. Can they (LGSEA) be of any help in opening the
eyes of the NAHB?


P.S. I wanted to thank Fred Turner for sending me a name and number to carry
this discussion through. Rather than jump on the number, I would like to
accumulate examples from other engineers as to what we typically see in the
field when we visit projects constructed without engineering. I have
pictures of problems on engineered projects that reflect the same
traditional construction mentality that prevents the framer or
sub-contractor from reading sections of the General Notes on the
construction set. One example is the placement of an electrical panel at the
end of a shearwall - it appears the last two studs (containing a holddown)
had been cut for the installation of the panel. Without Observation, this
may have gone unnoticed.
I have plenty more that would be unregulated had it not been for SO
requirements in California.

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard_Ranous/OES(--nospam--at)
Sent: Friday, May 08, 1998 7:53 AM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Question for East Coast Engineers


These are good questions and many of them were thoroughly discussed by the
Conventional Framing task force as they worked to re-write the provisions.
I believe that they appear in the 1997 UBC.  Probably the most important
part of those provisions is a reasonable definintion of what constitutes a
"regular shape."  This was the biggest area of problems in the previous

The new provisions provide spacing requirements for cross walls, maximum
offsets in walls, and minimize the potential for re-entrant corners.  I do
not remember if there is a header schedule or not.  The point is that most
of what you have talked about is covered in these procedures.

The question on liability is one that I don't think anyone can answer with
anything more than an opinion.  That will be an issue that the individual
engineer will need to consider when they are asked to design one beam or
one shear panel out of the entire building.