It is a bit too late to make any modifications to the 1997 UBC. The last
chance to propose any revisions to it was in 1996. UBC will be out existence
after the 97 version. It will be replaced by the 2000 IBC (international
building code). The 2000 IBC had it last hearing in March of this year.
Therefore, it is very unlikely to revise anything in IBC at this time either,
with the exception of outstanding challenges which will be heard in summer
during the Annual Business Meeting of the major codes.
The only possible mechanism to change anything in 97 UBC is an emergency
amendment, which is intended for very critical issues. This was used after
the 94 Northridge earthquake for steel moment frame connections.
If you are interested in what goes into the future codes I suggest you get
involved by reviewing the 2000 IBC and proposing code changes for the 2003
IBC which we will probably use in 2005!
Ben Yousefi, S.E.