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Re: Seismic Upgrade ..... Appeal to those who created the code

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Dennis S. Wish PE

I'm kind of at a loss and frustrated as well. There have been many 
suggestions for Lynn as well as to warn him of the potential liability of his 
actions if he chooses to use his engineering judgement.
Remember who changed these codes - our fellow professionals. We may not agree 
with the direction that these committees took and possibly they did not work 
out all of the potential details and problems associated with these changes.  
Now that their work has been published, it becomes code and we are forced to 
follow it.
A bad code is still a bad code, but is protected as long as there is no 
opposition to it.  
Is it that we have no faith in our ability to act in numbers or are we 
complacent, apathetic or just don't give a damn. 
There have been many who voiced their opinions of the problems created by 
this code. How many lurkers are there in the shadows who agree with the 
discussion and simply have no desire to respond, voice an opinion or "make 
waves" (the worst excuse I can think of).
Better yet, I would love to see some intelligent discussion from those who 
made these changes and believe them to be in the best interest of the public 
compared to working in a direction to improve construction quailty and assure 
that the finished product reflects what we have designed.  If I'm wrong, I'd 
love to know it and would happily back off and start defending the other side 
of the issue. 

I urge each of you to act upon your conviction. When the time comes that you 
feel passionate about a section of code that is wrong, I'm sure you will 
desire to have the support of your fellow members behind you to correct the 

Let me be clear that I don't specifically blame any of the engineers on the 
committees who deveoped this code because I believe that they felt justified 
in their work. I believe that they did not see the whole picture or felt that 
the lobby on the side of the construction industry was unconquerable in our 
ability to improve and correct the actual causes of failures discovered by 
FEMA and other organizations after natural diseasters. Therefore, I think the 
committee has the same problem we do. How to force compliance to a code that 
forces observation and inspection compliance during construction. Rather than 
fight the beaurocracy, we work from what we know best - code creation and 
revision. Not the most cost effective approach to the problem.

I'll get off of your backs after this post. I'm frustrated that we, as a 
unified professional community, sit back and take whatever is thrown at us 
without consideration for our clients. Yet, we seem happy to take the abuse 
from the Architectural and Construction industry as "overdesigners" and 
money-mongers (until damage occurs then they are happy to attack our 

Someone has to take a stand and this is as good a time as any.

Dennis Wish PE