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SEAINT Listservice "Virtual" Committee Structure.

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You have rightfully challenged the members of the SEAINT List Service to make 
more effective use of the Internet, SEAINT Listservice and other "On Line" 
capabilities to communicate among design professionals and with the national 
engineering organizations.

I am asking you to consider establishing a "standard" format for SEAINT 
Virtual Committees so that SEAINT can play a more effective role in defining 
and resolving some of the major issues affecting our professions.

Specifically, I am suggesting you establish a Virtual SEAINT ASCE/FEMA 273 
Committee similar to an "On Line" SEAOC Seismology Committee.  FEMA 273 is 
the "NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation  of Buildings."  I am 
not sure whether many of the SEAINT Listservice members are interested in the 
subject, "Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings", but the ASCE/FEMA 273 Project 
is entering a critical stage and would be a good test to see if SEAINT can 
effective establish a "Virtual" Committee Structure and make a difference in 
the national codes and standards that will affect our professions and 

The SEAINT ASCE/FEMA 273 Committee would provide for exchange of thoughts, 
opinions, recommendations, etc. concerning the direct input in the 
development of this proposed ASCE/FEMA 273, American National Standards 
Institute (ANSI), Standard before this proposed standards is "cast in 

I have not communicated with ASCE, but ASCE might answer that there is an 
established ASCE Standards Committee procedure for input into ASCE proposed 
Standards and such an SEAINT ASCE/FEMA 273 Committee is unnecessary and 
redundant.  However, the ASCE Standards procedures, which have been 
established and tested through years of experience, preclude publishing the 
addresses (email, US Mail, etc. address) so that members of a particular ASCE 
Standards Committee can effectively communicate (except by going through ASCE 
Headquarters that manages the ASCE Standards Committee procedure) with the 
other members of the same or other ASCE  committees for fear of overwhelming 
the members with unsolicited messages attempting to influence their thoughts 
and votes on particular ASCE Standards issues.  I could be wrong, but the 
above thoughts are my interpretation of how the ASCE Standards process works. 
 I welcome J. Rossberg, ASCE Standards Coordinator, comments.

The ASCE/FEMA 273 Standard development is just getting started and is being 
managed (under a FEMA grant to ASCE) following the ASCE Standards procedures 
under the ASCE Standards Committee for the Seismic Rehabilitation of 
Buildings, Mel Green, Chairman.  This ASCE Committee membership, I believe, 
is now closed under the ASCE Standards rules, but SEAINT Listservice can 
provide important direct input into the development of the proposed ASCE 
Standard and make a significant difference before the ASCE/FEMA 273 Standard 
is finalized.

The ASCE/FEMA 273 has a  website,, 
which is under the control and management of Degenkolb, Consulting Structural 
Engineers, email "degenklb(--nospam--at)"  Yes, I checked again and it is 
"degenklb(--nospam--at)" according to the web site "Home Page."

I am suggesting that you and other SEAINT Listservice subscribers log in to 
this web site and learn more about the ASCE/FEMA 273 Prestandard Project.

My specific request is that you or your designee set up a "standard format" 
for use by the SEAINT Listservice subscribers to submit comments and 
recommendations concerning specific wording for review and revision of the 
ASCE/FEMA 273 Standard.

Hopefully, SEAINT can provide a stronger and broader coordinated base for 
input into the ASCE/FEMA 273 process than individuals submitting their 
comments in an uncoordinated format.

Based on your more complete knowledge concerning  the effective use of  the 
Internet capabilities, etc., I asking you or your designee to set up a 
"standard format" for identification, tracking, sharing and archiving SEAINT 
Listservice subscriber's comments and recommendations. 

Without any pride of authorship and subject to your careful review and 
editing, I am proposing that comments, recommendations, revisions for SEAINT 
Listservice  subscribers follow the following "standard format."

For example, on the subject line of the email message, it would read 
something like:

"ASCE/FEMA 273 (version date), Section x.xx.x with some kind of author's 
initials or other ID." 

The email message would be sent to the seaint(--nospam--at) and 
degenklb(--nospam--at) or other Degenkolb email address.

In the body of the email message, use Discussion Sections, "Classification", 
"Discussion" and "Recommendations", etc., which follows approximately the 
ASCE/FEMA 273 Global Topics Report format, click on "GT Report" on web site.

Example: " Subject: ASCE/FEMA 273, April 12, 1999, Section 2.11.4, fem."

In body of the email message:

"Classification" (Refer to website for options for various classifications.)

"Discussion": Upon completion of the Guidelines, it was recognized that the 
provisions for Overturning were inadequate.....etc." 

"Recommendations":  "Revise Section 2.11.4 to include the sidebar overturning 
as commentary.  However, with the use of the sidebar provisions, an odd 
inconsistency may result in which the superstructure is not in equilibrium 
with the reduced foundations forces.  To rectify this dilemma with the Linear 
Procedures, it may be necessary to develop a modification to the analysis 
procedures that establishes the force/displacement at which rocking occurs.  
If the demand forces exceed this value, then the analytical model used for 
determining member compliance could be modified to include rotation springs 
at the foundation that are adjusted to produce an effective secant stiffness 
which reflects a proper estimate of the soil-structure compliance effective 
attributed to rocking.  Taken from the BSSC Case Studies Report, March 30, 
1999 Draft."

For the current April 12,1999, First Draft of ASCE/FEMA 273 Prestandard 
wording, click on "First Draft", scroll through this document to find the 
particular sections of interest for comment, recommendations, revisions, etc. 
 (As a member of the ASCE Standards Committee for the Seismic Rehabilitation 
of Buildings, I just received my requested hard copy on May 27, 1999 of the 
"First Draft.")

I am suggesting that SEAINT play a more active and coordinated role in the 
ASCE/FEMA 273 Standards process than just having individual SEAINT 
subscribers respond in an "ad-hoc manner" and then waiting for the ASCE 
Standards process to be completed and asking for public comments, after the 
time for effective and meaningful comments and recommendations has passed.

Hopefully, you will give the above thoughts your careful consideration and 
provide SEAINT with your wisdom, guidance and recommendations.  The effort 
involved can be daunting, but, I believe, that FEMA 273 will be the "de 
facto" standard for the seismic rehabilitation of buildings in the future and 
SEAINT should "get on board before the ship leaves the dock."

Respectfully submitted,

Frank E. McClure     FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)    May 28, 1999
File: Wish1.doc