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Re: Diaphragm Calculations

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Ben, with all due respect, you are splitting hairs. The fact is that 
virtually no one designed a residential structure using rigid diaphragm 
analysis. SEAOC and ICBO have removed our choice as to how to best handle 
this type of design by drawing sufficient attention to the comformance of 
this code (past and present) that we must comply now and will have assumed 
responsiblity for what we did not do in the past. As Chuck Greenlaw pointed 
out, the test of our liability will occur in court an will most likely be 
decided upon the qualifications and confidence of the expert witness and the 
jury. The fact that the majority did not comply in the past does not relieve 
responsiblity.
I received a fax from a friend who is an expert witness. He was quoting for a 
book called the DESIGN GUIDE TO THE 1991 UNIFORM BUILDING CODE by Alfred 
Goldberg, P.E. , H.A.I.A., third edition, GRDA Publications, P.O. Box 1407, 
Mill Valley, California.
 Page 11-4 states:

" The acceptance of substandard drawings from several designers does not 
establish a standard level of acceptance in that locality. If that standard 
results in drawings that are incomplete for proper construction, in 
litigation the designer will answer to the courts. It is foolish to hope the 
courts will rule that the continued presence of inadequate drawings will, 
over a period of time, establish that level of performance as the 
professional standard in the locality."

Page 11-2 states:
" The designer should follow the code, when faced with a determination made 
at the local level that is knowingly contrary to the code and accepted 
practice in the profession. the choice of a more restrictive reading of the 
code cannot be overruled by the official. One can always exceed the minimum 
standards in the code. By so doing, the designer will avoid the trap of 
taking responsiblity for the code violation that the official inadvertently 
set up. Remember that the code provides an "out" for the official via Section 
303 (c); there isno similar one for the designer."

Ben, hopefully SEAOC will help to remove the liability that it has created 
for our profession by including the provisions for rigid diaphragm design 
back in 1988 yet not enforcing or providing appropriate design methodologies 
for the profession until the adoption of the 1997 UBC.

Respectfully,
Dennis S. Wish PE

In a message dated 7/8/99 4:06:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
Ben.Yousefi(--nospam--at)ci.sj.ca.us writes:

<< Any way, please don't refer to this as a 97 UBC code change. 
 
 Regards,
 Ben Yousefi, SE
 San Jose, CA
  >>