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- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- From: "fturner" <fturner(--nospam--at)quiknet.com>
- Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 09:52:08 -0700
Neil Glaser just said: "The media blames everything on 'shoddy construction'. " I think if you take a closer look at many of the better news sources, the media also point out that engineers, owners, inspectors, and code enforcers share the responsibility for poor performance in earthquakes. Perhaps the media just get used to saying the same thing over and over again so they resort to short-hand summaries. In 1994, the Ca. Seismic Safety Commission concluded that "Poor quality in design, plan review, inspection, and construction were encountered over and over in the buildings damaged by the earthquake. California's current system of building design and construction encourages individual gambles that add up to significant risks..." In 1989: "Structures which sustained damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake were more or less likely to do so based upon one or more of a number of relatively random factors: quality of design, quality and extent of engineering, quality of materials, quality of construction techniques, quality of inspection, quality of maintenance, soils, geology, and the unique characteristics of this particularly event and the degree to which they combined with any or all of the previous factors." Similarly after 1933 Long Beach, the Coroner's Jury concluded: "The great amount of damage that resulted from this shock was due to faulty construction of the buildings damaged. Buildings of good construction escaped damage or came through with only minor damage even though situated directly adjacent to buildings that were demolished... They suffered serious damage not only because of inadequate provision for lateral stresses but in an important degree because of utter lack of efficiency in workmanship." Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the Santa Rosa quake and the 12th for Whittier. History repeats. Our construction practice has a great deal in common with Taiwan, Greece, as well as Turkey. Are we now all that much better than our predecessors here in the US? Fred Turner, Staff Structural Engineer, California Seismic Safety Commission, 1755 Creekside Oaks Drive Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95833 916-263-0582 Work Phone, 916-263-0594 Fax fturner(--nospam--at)quiknet.com
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