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RE: Use of WOOD: Single Family Housing Design

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Brian wrote:
"in our region all structures require an engineer, even one story
ranch homes with adequate shear wall and many redundancies.  this increases
the cost of design and construction to no benefit to the consumer. "

Brian, as an engineer how can you make this type of statement. If you don't
have earthquakes, you have high winds. Most wood framed residential is
governed by wind forces over seismic. However, more damage is done by
seismic due to cyclic dynamic actions.
It is my opinion that the extra cost for professional services should yield
more ecconomical constrction and a structure that performs better. In
California, the difference in up front cost (engineering for a basic 1 story
residential including analysis, plans and details is around $2,500.00) or
around 2-1/2 percent of the cost of a starter home in the desert and much
less than 1% of a fixer-upper in Los Angeles area.

Although I know little about the homes damaged in Hurricane Andrew, it is my
understanding that many lacked either hurricane clips to help prevent the
roof from uplifting off the home, or other defects associated with shear
paneling and nailing. Had the developer invested the cost for Structural
Observation during construction by a professional engineer, do you think the
damage would have been so extensive? I don't.

Because the statistics don't match those of your area does not denigate the
comparisons that exist in other areas - including those in other than
seismic zone 4.

Consider again my example about the City of Santa Monica - luck is simply
something that does not last forever.

Regards
Dennis Wish PE