Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Prescribing "Immediate Occupancy" Using FEMA 273 and FEMA 310

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
 
<HTML><FONT  SIZE=3 PTSIZE=10>The following "Letter to the Editor" was published in 1996 Structural Engineers Association of Northern California and Southern California newsletters.  In response to numerous requests, it is repeated here so others who do not have access to these newsletters will have the opportunity to read this "Letter to the Editor", entitled "And the Buildings Will Not Even Catch a Cold." <BR>
<BR>
With the continuing emphasis on "Performance Based Seismic Design" as expressed in the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Vol. 2, No. 1, January 1999, PEER CENTER NEWS, web site:http://peer.berkeley.edu, and other similar seismic engineering bulletins and newsletters, as well as FEMA 273 and 310, Guidelines, it is perhaps timely to present again the following "Letter to the Editor."<BR>
<BR>
"AND THE BUILDINGS WILL NOT EVEN CATCH A COLD"*<BR>
<BR>
"On a recent airplane flight in early December 1995, I had the privilege of talking to a professor from one of the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe) universities.  He expressed his concerns about the ethical and professional liability issues related to the structural engineering profession being able to met the goals of  Vision 2000, which is to develop the framework for procedures that yield structures of predictable seismic performance - Performance Based Seismic Design.<BR>
<BR>
"He was very concerned about the ability of knowledgeable structural engineers to design and retrofit building to meet the Vision 2000 performance goals and levels of  "Fully Operational" and "Operational" (Refer to Figure 2-1: Spectrum of Damage States, Vision 2000 - Part 1, April 3, 1995.)  His concerns was that structural engineers have an inadequate data base of full size testing of systems and components and their actual earthquake performance on which to base the necessary engineering judgments to design and retrofit buildings to meet these seismic performance goals and objectives.<BR>
<BR>
He was also concerned about the apparent structural engineer's innocence and unsophisticated understanding of the legal issues related to their practice compared to medical doctors.  All medical doctors eventually "fail" and lose all their patients through death if they outlive their patients.  They do not even try to offer perpetual life unless they are quacks or charlatans.  Yet they are will to spend considerable sums of your money - with your permission, of course - to extend your life a few years.  If you follow their recommendations your life can be extended.  However, they do not offer perpetual life and along the way you will still catch colds.<BR>
<BR>
"Now with Vision 2000 performance levels of  "Fully Operational" and Operational" structural engineers are offering to provide owners with the equivalent of "implied warranties" and seismic risk-free "perpetual life" for their buildings if these structural engineers will just follow some enhanced design and quality assurance procedures.<BR>
<BR>
"AND THE BUILDINGS WILL NOT EVEN CATCH A COLD.  Think about it."<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
Frank E. McClure, Consulting Structural Engineer<BR>
* All rights reserved.  July 30, 1996. <BR>
<BR>
Note: The FEMA 273 Guidelines Performance Level of "Immediate Occupancy" is equivalent to SEAOC Vision 2000 Rating of  "Fully Operational", and FEMA 273 Guidelines Performance Level of  "Damage Control" is equivalent to SEAOC Vision 2000 Rating of "Operational."  (Reference: Chris Poland, PEER CENTER NEWS, Vol. 2, No. 1, January 1999.) <BR>
</HTML>