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Re: How do we unite professional organizations

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I do not agree with the concept of unnecessary duplication of effort. As a current member of the San Diego review committee, I don't see alot of difference between one assigned individual preparing a sample solution and several independent people thoroughly reviewing, discussing, and commenting on the methods and interpretations presented; and having several people independently prepare a solution based on their own interpretations and methodology for comparison, discussion, and comment.
Interpretation is a part of the ICBO/SEAOC procedural manual, inherently implied in our review and agreement (or not) with the presented solution methodology and proper application of the code. The whole purpose of the procedural manual, IMHO, is to demonstrate application of code requirements to provide for more consistent interpretation within the design community.
In many ways I think the SEI approach will be beneficial, differences of opinion and interpretation will be potentially clearer in the initial round by solving the problems independently, resulting in some very constructive discussion.
I do not know which codes and guidelines the SEI problems are based on (though I certainly intend to explore this). As you know the ICBO/SEAOC manual is based on the 1997 UBC Seismic provisions. It is very possible that the SEI problems are not seismic issues at all, but wind or even vertical systems requirements. The ASCE wind provisions have long been the primary guide outside of the simplified UBC applications.
As a west coast organization SEAOC expends the greatest amount of energy investigating west coast design issues. I did not interpret the SEI invitation to represent a competitive situation motivated by politics or income, and as a member of both SEAOC and ASCE I do not feel that the existence and efforts of these two organizations creates a segregated community.
People are most likely to volunteer their time and effort to those aspects of our profession that are of particular interest to that individual. One of the strengths of the SEAint list is that the members are from all over, with a tremendous variety of interests and experience.
The best way to promote a united effort is to offer participation to all interested individuals regardless of professional society affiliation, as exemplified in the SEI post to this list. An added section on the SEAint web page providing a directory of available opportunities for involvement in committee or related work organized by any of the professional societies would benefit all. And if related or overlapping work is identified, the respective committee chairs and participants could become aware of their common interest and efforts and contact each other directly to create a greater number of smaller joint efforts and limited associations.
Paul Feather PE