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Re: Future of CA's Field Act - Seismic Safety for Public Schools[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: Re: Future of CA's Field Act - Seismic Safety for Public Schools
- From: <Mlcse(--nospam--at)aol.com>
- Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 00:23:35 EDT
In a message dated 98-07-10 15:15:36 EDT, you write: << Thanks Fred, this is valuable information. By outward appearences, the integrity of the Field Act is not yet safe. Maybe, there needs to be more work done with DSA to help them update (not water down) their standards. Presonally, I believe that DSA has done a good job in developing standards for public schools. I believe that they should remain responsible for this occupancy. That is not to say that I do not think local governments are capable of plan checking and inspecting schools, many are. But to have one agency responsible statewide for such an important occupancy seems to make sense to me. Again, thanks Fred for the update. >> I would agree with Rick about what DSA has accomplished and that one statewide agency should be responsible. I would be concerned about turning the plan check services and inforcement over to the local government agencies. There are too many politics which go on at the local level. You are turning the enforcement over to the local building official, who must cope with the financial and political pressure from the local city council, various development companies and construction industries only concerned about being business friendly and the bottom line. Basically the same forces trying to change the Field Act. Most projects usually have tight bugets, and when things start to go wrong, there is always a strong urgency to cut costs and have acceptance of construction which might otherwise not be accepted. With the strong movement to cut government costs, the plan check review is likely not to get the review it has typically recieved from DSA. Currently DSA requires a S.E. to perform the structural plan check. I believe local building officals will fight this requirement, since some building departments do not have S.E.'s on staff. Probably the most important facit of DSA projects is the fact that there is a DSA inspector present during all construction. I imagine this is one area that would be cut back, after some political pressure, in order to reduce costs. Without this continuous inspection, there will be substancially more poor workmanship. How often do contractors bid the drawings the way they want to build the project, instead of whats shown on the drawings, intending to get the architect and engineer to accept the changes. Also, when was the last time you heard that the subcontractor came in over the weekend and worked without inspection as required by the plans. In my experience, it is difficult enough to provide structural observation on private sector jobs unless the building offical specifically requires structural observation forms be submitted to the building department as work progresses. We now have architects requesting on new job proposals that structural observation be included in our fixed fee, which doesn't work since you have no control over the contractor competency that the owner selects. People seem to quickly forget the damage that can occur from an earthquake as time passes, especially if proposed code changes will personly affect the individuals pocketbook. I think it would be shortsighted at this time to allow organizations, other than DSA ,to adminster plancheck and jobsite inspection for schools in order to save money. DSA has a difficult enough time as it is enforcing the regulations, let alone if other agencies were to take over the responsibilities. Michael Cochran S.E.
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