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Re: higher loads or better details.

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In a message dated 9/4/98 9:47:04 AM, Roger Turk wrote:

<<Proper loads and details go hand-in-hand with each other.  A "good" detail 
for an inadequate load will have the same result as a bad detail for a proper 
load.  >>

I don't agree.  I feel that proper connection details are much more important
than design for precise loads, at least when it comes to seismic design.  I
believe that a properly tied-together building designed for half seismic loads
will perform better than an inadequately-connected structure designed for
double loads (if there were such a thing as adequate design with inadequate

I'd certainly prefer a building that deflects a lot under seismic loads, but
doesn't collapse, to one that has plenty of bracing, but isn't tied together
than thus may "fall apart."  

This may apply to gravity design too:  Would you rather have an undersized
beam with adequate bearing (thinking of wood), which will sag and provide
warning before failure, or an adequately-sized beam with inadequate bearing
(which could fail catastrophically)?  

There's an old architectural saying:  "God is in the details."  He (She?) may
also have been thinking of engineering.  

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond  CA