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Re: '97 UBC Design - Are you too old to change your ways???

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It is commonly reported that of the 20 billion in damage caused by the Northridge
earthquake, 15 billion was in residential construction.  Add to that the fact
that most of it was relatively new and we  have a justification for change.  The
Caltech/Curee rpoject on wood frame construction is a testamony to the need for
change.  I believe that the new provisions in the 97 UBC are in part related to
this experience.

I appreciate the hardship that new code procedures bring, but I believe it is our
responsibility to learn form earthquakes and improve our practices.  When it
comes to earthquake resistant design, we can never allow ourselves to be too old
to change.  Remember, sesimic design is an emerging technology.

Chris Poland

Seaintonln(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:

> I have been told that there are many older engineers (probably myself to be
> included in May as I hit the half century mark) that the provisions for
> compliance of the '97 UBC for professionals who historically specialize in
> residential construction has created a hardship and may force some engineers
> into early retirement.
> The argument is that enforcment of the code provisions for residential
> structures requires engineers who design by manual tools to expel a much
> greater percentage of time on the lateral design of a home which was not
> required or enforced prior to this year.
> This is believed to be related to loss of work by not being able to compete
> with competition who possess the productivity tools to absorb the additional
> time required to comply with the code.
> I believe that this is a ligitimate complaint that should provide
> justification to seriously consider the implication of enforcment of these
> code provisions on the recorded history of damage occuring from the
> acceptance of prior design methods.
>
> I would be interested in your opinions. Should some of us old timers consider
> throwing in the towel or should the towel be thrown over the new methodology
> until it can be justified by "bodies" of evidence supporting damage resulting
> from inadequate design proceedures?
>
> Dennis Wish PE
>


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