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Re: Performance-Based Seismic Design, Potential for Increased Professional Liability

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(Sorry for premature sending earlier. Slip of the button. Here's the rest of
the story. It's been a little dull on this list, post-Kate.)
Frank E. McClure wrote on Aug 13:

>How can engineers assure their clients - owners, insurance companies, lending
>agencies, etc.- that their buildings will not be damaged beyond a certain
>degree of damage when the "design" or "evaluation" earthquake has a
>probablility of exceedance and is basically "open ended?"?
As several others already answered, some exasperatedly, you can't.

Another group of repliers extolled the virtues of all the interesting,
innovative, or merely common-sense perspectives that one can take in seismic
design. Somehow the name "Performance-Based" has come to be wrapped around
all manner of variations in seismic design, as though a miraculous
breakthrough had occurred, and as though traditional seismic design was
negligently blind to considerations of structural and other aspects of

Neither of which is true.

It seems to me that what an enlightened, survivable structural engineer
needs to possess in this new age of code complexification and design method
hype and puffery (and SEAOC reorganization schemes) is the same personal
attribute Ernest Hemingway insisted was the one essential ingredient
required to be a great writer: "A built-in, shockproof crap detector". 

Ah, but maybe the performance-basers are right. If so we should welcome the
coming virtues of performance-based apple pie and performance-based
motherhood. Nothing less should be accepted.

Charles O. Greenlaw, SE, P-B CD.   Sacramento CA