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Re: Wind damaged residences in Kansas

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This thread keeps re-surfacing and I do wish the engineering community would make a stand, especially my learned collegues here in British Columbia.  But.......

This problem is not limited to wind-blown structures.  The residential market world-wide (eg, when I studied at Kobe University back in the late seventies I was amazed that the current engineering thought was not being applied to residential construction - a habit of using traditional craftspersons totally precluded any scientific thought coming anywhere within a fart of real construction.  The recent earthquake had me with sudden 20/20 vision thinking "I told you so!") does not appear to like keeping up with engineering knowledge and opinion.  I would gladly take up the issue except my own peers are less than enthusiastic about pursuing this elusive beast.  So I wallow in apathy and try to convince my own clients of the sense in at least considering (emphasis) the engineering implications.

Thor A. Tandy   P.Eng.,  MCSCE
Victoria, BC, Canada
e-mail: <vicpeng(--nospam--at)vtcg.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Kestner <jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Date: Friday, November 13, 1998 12:01 PM
Subject: Re: Wind damaged residences in Kansas


>I agree with alot of what Harold said...............lack of
>enforcement..............insurance companies willing to
>pay...............inadequate load paths to the ground............lack of
>required holddowns................etc. Engineering of the wood frame for houses
>is not required by the local codes so it is typically left up to the contractor.
>
>When we design wood frame commercial buildings, we inevitably get complaints of
>overdesign from contractors, owners and architects who all believe "it is just a
>big house"and therefore it should be built just like all the other houses.  I
>know of many structural engineers who refuse to work on wood frames because of
>the hassle that we constantly face when we design it by the codes.
>Unfortunately, poor performance of these houses during a moderate wind storm
>confirms that something is wrong with what is being allowed, but it seems like
>nothing changes. I hate to say it but, until the losses are big enough (like
>Homestead, Florida during Hurricane Andrew) nothing will change. There is too
>much momentum trying to keep things the same (we are fighting an uphill battle).
>Any suggestions? Anyone who wants to take up this cause?
>
>Jim Kestner, P.E.
>Green Bay, Wi