Friday, Apr 16, 1999 08:24 PM
( o o )
How Ya Doin' Ralph
My gosh! You are starting to sound like me:>) I also read Michael Cochran's
discription of the ideal way to design shearwalls. What a wonderful idea -
now if only we could get the framers to put back in the 40% of shear elements
they omit on 60% of the homes they build:>) (FEMA Results of Northridge
earthquake). I know Mike is discussing the theory of how a well designed
shearwall should behave, but it all seems moot to me since I became so
cynical over the prospects of overdesigning to compensate for poor quality
There is a rush out here - where the building industry is booming - to get
designs permited before the more restrictive codes are adopted in July. I am
suddenly being deluged by clients that want to avoid the additional cost of
harware and labor to comply to a more rigid code. I don't think they should
worry since their framers will probably leave out 40% of the items anyway.
Whoa, I just realized that they still have have to put in more than they have
historically but will only be leaving out the new code requirment.
I guess I offended the NAHB-RC in my last response to Don Carr. I'm sorry
that NAHB-RC has to consider me an advesary rather than one who appauds their
ideology but not their administration of the idea. Don has not seen fit to
respond to my post (which I copied as an email to him directly).
I don't think that those who are offended by the many of us who would rather
deal with the real problem than make the public suffer because we let
politics defend those fragle egos from comming to terms with the actual
problems that plauge our industry construction defects.
I know I've said it before, but why the heck are we demanding more rigid
design methodologies and greater loads to resist when we have not completed
those studies (CUREe-CalTech) that preliminarily point to construction defect
rather than inadequate design?
Sorry, but I've been raised an activist and I have a difficult time with the
frustration of ineptness and apathy. I can't blame my clients from rushing
out to beat the new code cycle. However, as Ralph has eluded to in his
comments, the developer who is profit conscience won't have to rush out - he
only needs to keep following the prescriptive measure and continue to build
the same sub-standard stuff that he has been building for years. Then when
the next earthquake occurs the insurance industry can invest another
20Billion in repairs and SEA can further increase the restrictions on
non-compliant (to conventional framing prescriptive) measures and force an
even greater discontinuity between the trades. Pretty soon only the rich will
be able to buy well built homes. Hey that's an idea - a code just for the
Ralph aptly wrote:
"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 in
each corner and 1/2" anchor bolts @ 6' oc it's code-compliant and therefore I
shouldn't even mention to an owner or potential owner that maybe it's just a
teeny bit less than we would like to see in a building? Ignorance is bliss?
Just a thought. "
Dennis Wish PE
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