Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I need to play Devil's advocate for one moment. Mind you all, I don't
subscribe to this concept, but I do believe it is the bases for all design:
We rely upon statistics to develop code methodology. How large do we design
storm drains? Based upon a 10 year, 25 year, 50 year or 100 year storm. The
same applies to Earthquakes - 6.8, 7, 7.5 etc. There is a point where
economics comes into play in the establishment of code.
This is where the distinguishing features end.
Any methodology based upon economics needs to change with the economic state
of the country. Thirty years ago, conventional framing standards may have
been enough. During the inflationary period starting with the great energy
crisis of 1974, we started to see an unbalanced condition. One working
parent was no longer enough to support a household. The distance between
debt and income ratio's changed to reflect more income devoted to mortgage
and rent.
My point is that the current methodology should have been changed years ago
to reflect the effect it has upon the middle class homeowner.
Frank is spouting statistics, this was great for the 40's through the late
60's. Today we spout the effects of our past decisions upon the quality of
life of an individual or family. The two are not equal.
Frank needs to come out into the real world and interact with the 0.96% of
the population that is on the verge of homelessness.
The economy appears to be doing better because more people are employed.
However, this only happened when employed people were laid off by private
and public cut-backs only to be reemployed at a lower wage. This happened to
both husband and wife.
Many of us are fortunate to be able to name our fee's in this profession. I
am considered in the lower half of the middle class, but have already paid
my dues - raised my children, put equity into my home and reduced my debt. I
am in a good position to enjoy my life (as long as I don't stop working) and
to have my wife at home without the job pressures. I don't think many of you
in this list are in the same position even though you are professionals.
My point is that the statistical approach is outdated and the methodology
needs to be brought up to the present needs of the public.
The easiest solution is to assure better performance and I am a firm
believer that this is the least expensive part of building a home.

Nowhere in this post have I mentioned a need to engineer a home - only a
need to provide better prescriptive measures and the need to tighten the
definition of Conventional framing so that the public is protected from the
profit monger. Now how difficult is it for us to do the right thing?

Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, May 22, 1998 12:01 PM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough

Ah, yes, but I would venture to guess that the 48,000 people that were left
without their homes don't care that they represent only 0.96% of the people.
The fact is that it happened to *them* and for most of them, their homes
probably represented a significant part of their assets.

Probability is for gamblers and abstract mathematicians, not for the average
person.  Look at how many people bought tickets for the Powerball drawing
where the probability was 1:80,000,000.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Al Grathwol wrote:

. > Assuming 10,000,000 people and average 2 per unit, 48,000 is 0.96 % of
. > the total.
. >