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Re: higher loads or better details.

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I've been reading arguments about which is best....higher loads, continuous
path or better details? I don't think there is a correct choice. The answer
should be all or none or a little of each. I think it is a matter of
engineer's judgement based on education, skills,experience, etc. Those who
prefer higher loads might have had a bad experience(or heard it from somebody
else, or read a book about it or leartned about it in a seminar) about poor
performance of a project even if there are a lot of good details(by the way,
how do you rate if a detail is bad or good? .......... JUDGEMENT!!!!) The same
thing is true for those who prefer better details....or continuous path.

How about structural observation???????No matter how high your design loads
are or how complete your load path is or how good your details are........if
the contractor do not build it per your plans(assuming that your plans are
complete, concise and precise), the structure is still inferior.

How about the owner's  or user's maintenance of the structure?  Neglect can
cause an excellently designed buiding to collapse.

There are a lot of other factors, considerations and conditions that make a
good structure(or any product for that matter). It is the right combination of
these factors that make them good or bad. But it is unquatifiable and there is
no exact formula for the best combination. Sometimes, a .1% mistake out of a
99.9% good job makes the whole job poor, not the average of the .1% and 99.9%.

Let's use our judgement and do the best we can out there.

By the way, reading all these experiences, preferences and excesses by other
engineers increased my experience already and I will surely consider all of
these in my JUDGEMENT when I design my next project.

Ernie Natividad