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

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Ed Workman wrote:

> One must remember that little of the code is written by actual
> practitioners, i.e.; folks who actually do the work and sign the plans ( Ah
> for life in the Ivory Tower). 
 The IT folks are so out of touch with reality that they think that
> writing an obscurely worded building code will somehow change the loss
> equation.  
> 2. Engage real practitioners in the change process (and this is not at all
> limited to wood frame work,  it is a problem in every section of the
> code....want to talk concrete?). 

Very true about every code that structural engineers must deal with.
Wind load provisions are another example.  

My theory on the root of this problem is frustrated
professors/researchers. Many don't actually design anything (how many
even have PE after their names?), so their pride and joy is probably
derived from being able to say that they got another equation or another
Greek letter added to some code. I can just picture them going home
after a new code comes out and saying, "Look honey, Eq. 12.5 in
paragaraph is mine!"

If some industry really wanted to improve their competitve advantage
(say steel vs. concrete, or concrete vs. steel), they should offer a
$100,000 prize to the researcher whose work leads to the most material
or complexity being removed from a code. Having a simpler code is
definitely a competitive advantage - I know of many, many cases where
structures have been designed in steel rather than concrete for the sole
reason that steel is simpler to design.

[I know I'm getting old since I now sound like those old geezers who
used to write letters to the ACI journal back in the 70s complaining
about how hard "ultimate strength" was compared to good old working
stress design.]