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Re: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough

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FLew98 wrote:

Roger is onto something, especially regarding seismic loading.  Reality check
for readers of this listserv:  Think back to every detached single-family
house you have lived in the U.S.  It's likely that most of them were of the
non-engineered wood-frame variety.   To your knowledge, have any of them ever
sustained any earthquake damage, before, during or after you lived in it?
It's unlikely.  The reality is that only a very small percentage of such
housing stock ever sustain any earthquake damage, even of the cosmetic
variety, during their service life.  This is true even in urbanized Zone 4
country like the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.  My mother-in-law's two-
story house in Oakland was one of many that were hastily built in 1907 to help
meet the demand for housing after the '06 S.F. event.  It has a brick
foundation, no anchor bolts or hold downs, and wouldn't calc out or meet
today's codes.  Yet, in it's 91 years of existence, the only damage have some
minor plaster cracks in one living wall, caused by the Loma Prieta event.
I've lived in five non-engineered houses, all located in the Bay Area and
within a few miles of the Hayward and San Andreas faults.  Those houses have
experienced several earthquakes that have caused damage in the region, but
none of those houses sustained any damage.

Readers who can answer yes to the question of damaged houses, please provide a
short post to this thread.  I'd be surprised if more than a dozen responses
appear out of the six thousand members of this listserv.

Frank Lew, SE
Orinda, CA

this sort of mentality is dangerous. Yes I'm also living in a non engineered house with no apparent damage, BUT   I've also seen
damage done by a full scale earthquake. If any one reads the EEFIT report on the 1990 earthquake in Iran (7.3 - 7.7 on the Richter scale ) will clearly get the point. out of a small city only three structures where still standing. Many of the demolished structures where less than 10 years old and a clear majority of the buildings where built with good quality construction material. Lack of structural knowledge or poor workmanship on part of the builders resulted in a tragedy. The same applies to the Armenian earthquake.

The whole concept of earthquake engineering is not to end up as a statistic.

Sassan Parhizgari, SE
Shiraz, Iran

P.S. The details of the report I mentioned is:

"Engineering Aspects of the Manjil, Iran earthquake of 20 June 1990, a field report by EEFIT"
By: Mahmoud R. Maheri
EEFIT (Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team)
Institute of Structural Engineers
11 Upper Belgrave Street
London SW1X 8BH