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RE: Conventional Construction (WAS: Architects Doing Engineering)

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I will concede a couple of points:

1. The timing of some of the major earthquakes couldn't have been much
better (is this a good basis for building codes?)
2. Historically, the damage to SFRs has been less than most other

The E/Qs you have cited are in the M6.5+/- range. I would have a tendency to
side more closely with your position if the geologists down here say that
there is a reasonable chance of a M8.5 within the next 30 years. Chicken
Little notwithstanding, I'm sure you are quite aware of the relationship
between a M6.5 and a M8.5 event.

Certainly, if the building codes were magically changed tomorrow, it would
not help if the max. probable event occurred the next day but it would if it
happened in 30-40 years.

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: FLew98 [mailto:FLew98(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 1998 5:37 PM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Conventional Construction (WAS: Architects Doing

In a message dated 98-05-26 19:25:53 EDT, bill(--nospam--at) write:

>  Unfortunately, I
>  will get little satisfaction saying "Look, Frank, HERE are the bodies!"

You should live so long to be able to say that.

At some point, the Chicken Little chorus has to acknowledge that the
divergence of actual event histories from the probablelistic-based models
predict great carnage, just might have some explanations other than dumb
Sure, Long Beach *could* have produced more bodies had it happened when
schools were in session.  Sure, Loma Prieta *could* have produced more
had it had occurred during rush traffic on the collapsed Nimitz
Sure, Northridge *could* have produced more bodies had it occurred when
Bullocks was having a sale and jammed with shoppers.  But they didn't.

As for the detached single-family wood-frame houses in California's housing
stock,  if it were possible to devise a bet that could be collected beyond
lifetimes, I'd give you 100 to 1 odds that few bodies will be found in such
houses over the next one hundred years.

Frank Lew, SE
Orinda, CA