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Re: Engineering ethics

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I agree with the concept of structural observation.  The only real way
to get the engineers out of the office and view the construction
practices as they are truely being practiced rather than some
theoretical beliefs, is to mandate a such a program.  As professionals,
we are not doing our industry or the public a service by providing
designs in the office and then burrying our heads in the sand (or the
next project).

Harris3803(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:
> 
>      This is a good example of why mandatory structural observation should be
> required on all significant buildings, as is done in Los Angeles city and
> Ventura County. This was also recommended by the seismic commision report on
> the Northridge earthquake " turning loss to gain " but never implemented by
> the state. The building inspector/official would need a statement from you
> that no known deficiencies exist prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy.
> Its a shame ICBO has avoided addressing this issue in building standards
> magazine. I wrote ICBO a Q & A type article two years ago but they declined to
> publish it. Many building department personnel think of structural observation
> as an issue between the owner and engineer until i explain it is required by
> code just like special inspection ( when i require it on the plan or it is an
> H ot A2.1 occupancy ) , and they would not issue a "C of O " without required
> special inspection. For example , any theater or church with over 300
> occupants  ( A2.1 occupancy ) in seismic zone 4 requires structural
> observation per '94 UBC , so if it was not done, the building was built in
> violation of code. The '97 code is going to greatly expand this due to near
> fault source B areas . Mandatory structural observation has been the best
> thing to happen to my experience as an engineer.
>       I know it's easier said than done but i think it would be appropriate to
> write a letter to the building official listing the deficiencies , as required
> by the code section on structural observation. ( I'm assuming you've already
> pointed out the deficiencies to the architect , contractor , owner and nothing
> has happened to correct the deficiencies )  On the other hand , if the
> building collapses and kills people , and you knew.........
> 
> 
>      Tom Harris, SE
>      Thousand Oaks, CA
>