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RE: Conventional Construction (WAS: Architects Doing Engineering - Regulating

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Ralph, to my knowledge none exist. Most homeowners believe that when they
purchase a home, the home "inspection" is performed to assure structural
performance or to identify structural problems. As many may have seen on the
recent MSNBC coverage - home inspection practices are under scrutiny. The
Inspection Services are recommended by the Real Estate company who admits to
not recommending the service if the reports are not favorable. This is the
same problem we have with the structural inspection section of the code.
Home Inspection services are not trained engineers and can not provide a
level of competency to adequately assure structural integrity of a building.
The buyer who pays for the service believes the Inspector represents their
needs, when in fact the Inspection service relies upon repeat references
from the Realtor.
There are no laws required to disclose the performance basis of a new or
existing home (it would be difficult with existing homes).
This requires legislation, but we have done with over 1 million homes in
California built upon cripple walls or with inadequate connections to their
If it was done to protect the buyer of an existing home, it should be
ratified to include disclosure of performance ratings on new homes.

Dennis Wish PE
-----Original Message-----
From: Rhkratzse [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 1998 12:44 PM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Conventional Construction (WAS: Architects Doing
Engineering - Regulating

In a message dated 5/23/98 11:10:44 PM, Dennis Wish wrote:
<<The facts are very straight forward - The level of protection, the fact

there is a difference in performance that can have a financial impact on the

public - is hidden or concealed by the seller of the home. It is my belief

that the Realtor is unaware of the level of performance their product is

designed to. The builder and/or developer must be responsible for this

knowledge and decision making process.

As with any used car, the level of performance should be rated and disclosed

to the public - not at closing, but in the real-estate records. A simple

brochure can be written by the state that clearly defines the level of

performance with an expected cost of repair to market value for various

types of natural disasters. ... If the developer

wishes to maximize profit at the expense of performance, the public who must

burden the expense of repair has the right to know. ...  Disclosure may help
improve the minimum standards for performance above

the level of Conventional Framing by public demand. Personally, I believe

that the home owner would choose to pay a 0.5% or 1.0% increase in

construction cost to improve performance and reduce the personal liability

when the event occurs. ...
At this time the uninformed home buyer believes that all

homes are built equal and that code compliance protects them from excessive

damage as well as loss of life. This is why so many home owners are angered

when they learn that a home performed as expected by code in spite of the

level of structural damaged it suffered.


Does anyone know of a good, clear, understandable (to the non-engineer),
*published* article covering the above thoughts that could be used as an
educational tool by the engineer when explaining to potential clients the
differences between engineered construction and Conventional Construction?

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA