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RE: Rigid vs. flexible

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Dennis said the following:
>Therefore, we must work within the constraints of the real world
> - those designers, owners and architects that are unwilling to comprimise

> aesthetics for strength.

Yes, the owners and architects are not going to change their demands on
either configuration or engineering fees until there is no engineer left
who is
willing to say , "yes I'll do it your way for the work."

I have in the past been paid more to peer review a design of residentail
homes than the design engineer was paid to design it.  But then I actually
visited
the site to make sure is was built correctly, and the design engineer
didn't.
The field had only about half a clue about how it should be built, which
tells us
something about  what the most important factor in the design of small
light-framed
construction should be (as opposed to analysis concerns).  But the real
problem
is that, the designers of these small jobs aren't being paid enough to
EITHER
consider different analysis approaches for diaphragms, or to see that it
gets
built correctly.  So we are missing the mark BOTH ways.

Another subject.  You failed to mention another member of the party - FEMA.

I have heard (rumor) that, after we had that series of earthquakes a few
years
ago, they said that the rest of the country is getting tired of paying
Californians
for earthquake damage, and if we couldn't get our building codes "right" by
 ourselves
they'd find a way to do it.  That way, of course, is NEHRP, which is
represented
in equal measure by engineers, academicians, and industy interests.  I have

seen no room for "virtual committess" in that group.  And there is a very
real
liklihood that  seismic codes beyong IBC2000 will be controlled by
something that
very much resembles this group, because the writing of seismic provisions
is no longer going to relegated to a bunch of Californians - it will be a
national process.
A major task for SEAOC  will be to maintain a voice within this new
process.   And
despite the descriptions of high-minded engineers, I have seen the
seismology
committee work, and it works.  There are plenty of representatives from
industry groups who fight very hard to keep things at a practical level,
and the engineers
are very experienced and (mostly) practical-minded.

Regards, Martin.