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RE: Reroofing

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A point of fact.  Elected officials do not set the level of risk implied in
the building codes.  If you would familiarize yourself with the code
adoption process you would find that 99.9% of elected officials have no
idea as to the risks implicit in the codes.  Codes are written by
Architects and Engineers, manufacturers, trade associations, and Building
Officials who are not elected.  The role of elected officials is to
rubberstamp what the buracrats recommend.

Central to the issue of going beyond the code is the concept that consumers
should be aware of what they are buying so they can make an informed
decision.   I would argue that we have both a legal and moral obligation to
inform our clients as  to the risks that they are accepting by making
various decisions.

For the most part owners of buildings are not informed of the risks that
they are accepting.  While many clients would still prefer a code minimum
design there are a number who would probably opt for a higher level of
performance.  Yet the way in which our services are provided the client is
typically not  given an option.

Secondly if a building that complies with the code has a problem this will
not protect you from being sued.  There may be an implied  acceptance of
the risk in the Building Code but there is not necessarily a guarantee that
the client accepts the risk.

Why not provide each client with a summary of the risks associated with key
decisions.   I would expect that this would tend to reduce the consultants
liability, in addition to increasing fees from those clients who want a
higher level of performance.  Admittedly this  would not be popular with
some Architects and Owners who would prefer not to deal with these issues.

Mark Gilligan

Original message 

>Engineers do not and should not set the norm; they are employed to provide
designs that comply with the level or risk that society dictates. Society
via the elected officials chose the factor of risk. If more engineers
realized this there would be less controversy on this exhange.

James Allen, P.E.

From:   Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)[SMTP:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent:   Thursday, April 15, 1999 9:51 PM
To:     ROgawa(--nospam--at); seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject:        Re: Reroofing

In a message dated 4/15/99 12:19:59 AM, ROgawa(--nospam--at) writes:
>Since the code allows this activity,  I see no reason to 
>get excited.  Change the code.

Is anyone else bothered by the attitude that "anything in the code is okay 
with me"?  In other words, if an existing building has a sheet of plywood
each corner and 1/2" anchor bolts @ 6' oc it's code-compliant and therefore
shouldn't even mention to an owner or potential owner that maybe it's just
teeny bit less than we would like to see in a building?  Ignorance is

Just a thought. 

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA <