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RE: History of conventional wood framing- update -Reply

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Do people really want to be "educated" about structural engineering? I
mean how many times have you started to explain or discuss some aspect
of structural engineering to someone and you start to see their eyes
glaze over? Even architects seem to consider the structural portion of
the project as a necessary evil; an impediment to the
architecture.People don't give a damn about structural engineering or
structural engineers, until of course the ground starts to shake. And
after the shaking is done, the public interest quickly moves to who to
blame for buildings that had problems, not a realization that most
buildings didn't fall down, and they're still breathing. The public
dosen't want to be "educated". Remember as engineers, we tend to people
who like to know lots of stuff about lots of stuff. Have you guys ever
been told by someone that "my house or building is on rollers" This is a
pet peeve of mine, and I always take the time to point out the
likelyhood of the structure being base isolated is pretty remote.  I
always ask, have you seen the structural drawings? Of course not, but
since the cashier at the lobby or their neighbour told them it's on
rollers it must be true, while I (a structural engineer mind you) must
be wrong. Educate? A bit cynical perhaps, but in my experience, the
public dosen't care a bit, they need to get home to see the next episode
of Jerry Springer.

 Monte Griffiths, S.E.

> ----------
> From: 	Barry H. Welliver[SMTP:wellive(--nospam--at)]
> Reply To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Sent: 	Wednesday, February 24, 1999 6:11 AM
> To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: 	Re: History of conventional wood framing- update -Reply
> "Dennis S. Wish PE" wrote:
> > David,
> Snip
> > Designing to minimum standards is not enough to protect the
> financial lose
> > that many homeowners incurred.  I personally feel that we have to
> extend our
> > professional responsibility to consider the effects of damage and
> offer our
> > clients a performance based contract - leaving the final decision to
> those
> > who must pay for it in the end.
> > To protect those who purchase homes direct from a developer, we need
> to
> > educate the public and inform them of the standard under which the
> home was
> > designed and constructed - i.e., minimum or greater than minimum
> > construction/design standards. Then we need to educate the buyers so
> that
> > they understand both what this means AND what they may need to
> invest to
> > improve the structures performance. This provides the purchaser the
> freedom
> > of choice by providing them the knowledge that they normally take
> for
> > granted.
> Perhaps this is the area for which we are ill prepared as engineers. I
> agree
> that education of the uneducated is necessary and struggle with the
> means to
> achieve this. Most professionals have at some time needed to explain
> and defend
> their opinions to clients or other interested parties. Use of the
> hands as well
> as language helps, but often the time spent is too short and the need
> for
> decision too quick for much "education" to take place. I wonder as a
> professional organization if we shouldn't be using the available means
> at our
> disposal (read: internet/web site) to provide places of education and
> maybe even
> voicing (in succinct language) concerns and even endorsing ideas and
> positions.
> If we truly want to have the ear of the public, then we need to place
> words,
> pictures, and materials online where the effect hits not only those in
> the midst
> of decisions like these, but also the casual learner. But we need to
> begin to
> agree that "marketing" is not a dirty word and to be prepared to
> wrestle with
> attitudes both within and outside of our organization which will
> challenge our
> opinions.
> > Finally, we as a professional community, need to help educate the
> > construction industry and help establish higher standards which
> require
> > those who construct structural elements to be licensed or certified
> as
> > having the knowledge and ability to perform this type of work (i.e.,
> > licensing framers).
> >
> > Dennis S. Wish PE
> Snip remainder..
> There are everyday stories we each can tell of what we perceive as the
> gaps in
> education of others. It seems that in almost every area of life, one
> falls short
> or is ignorant of some fact or idea. To work on the problem of
> education is to
> take professionalism by the horns and be responsible beyond our
> spheres of
> influence. I'd like to see how we might achieve some of the goals...
> Barry H. Welliver