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RE: Conventional Construction (WAS: Architects Doing Engineering)

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I have truly been enlightened by this thread. Of course, I am disappointed
in that not only does there not seem a consensus about what changes should
be made, but that whatever changes would get an overall appeal, they are
very unlikely because we are not a pro-active group and we have little say
in what the rules are. I also realize that, by voicing my opinions, no
matter how loudly or regularly, they will not "change the world".

Going back to my original post on this topic and the 17 house mini-tract, I
have not seen the plans but I would guess that the plans would not strictly
(or even loosely) conform to the Conventional Framing Provisions even as
they are now written much less the flavor being proposed in the IBC.
However, I am willing to make a significant wager that the plans will sail
through the building department with only a modicum of plan check comments.
I am unwilling to ask my friend for a copy of the plans and do a review for
the purpose of reporting the person who provided the structural design to
BORPELS or the State Board of Architects for two reasons: I have done plenty
of work in my lifetime for free (thank you very much) and the only result I
can expect is a negative one upon my friend who would surely be "black
balled" within her target market.

It would be nice to recognize the business opportunity as I see it here.
When I did a lot of residential work, I had a difficult time making a decent
rate because I would spend so much time designing and detailing the lateral
force resisting system. Even when complete, I would get bashed by the
contractor for putting in way too many hold downs and straps. I finally gave
up on residential work. However, after following this thread, it seems that
I could get away with providing a design in accordance with the Conventional
Framing Provisions and make big bucks because it would take so much less
time to design. I'm sure I would be extremely popular with contractors and I
would quickly have to start turning down work. Unfortunately (or
fortunately) I cannot do this with a clear conscience since I know that the
structure I put my stamp on will not "calc out" according to Chapter 16 of
the UBC.

I realize that a lot of readers believe residential engineering is beneath
them, but the work and the construction represents a significant portion of
structures that people are likely to be in during the next major event. It's
a shame that more people with clout do not take these structures more
seriously. I know Frank Lew has lived in 5 residences designed according to
the Conventional Framing Provisions (more or less?) and it sounds like he
has no trouble sleeping at night. Myself, I live in a tract house that was
engineered. Of course, I did "inspections" during construction and my wife
wants to be in this house during the next major event. As for the rest of
the people who live in Conventionally Framed houses, well, I have an
Emergency Rate Sheet in my drawer for such an occasion. Unfortunately, I
will get little satisfaction saying "Look, Frank, HERE are the bodies!"

Regards,
Bill Allen