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RE: shear wall design; std. of care[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: shear wall design; std. of care
- From: "SEConsultant" <seconsultant(--nospam--at)earthlink.net>
- Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 00:45:28 -0800
I have had little involvement in this discussion but saw Charles comments about "Standard of Care" and had to comment. Most of us admit that we have a problem complying with the current code methodology as it applies to custom homes, and although commercial and industrial wood buildings tend to be easier to design using torsional analysis, I believe the differences in more "regular" structures to be fairly insignificant. The issue of a standard of care is immensely important - more now than ever before. This is because few engineers are designing in full compliance of the code and few building officials and plan check engineers are enforcing full compliance - at least not until more is known to justify or negate the methodology. While engineers design to less than the published minimum standard, they offer themselves up as "bait" to the bottom feeders who would use this as an excuse to defend a dissatisfied client and pull the engineering into a "normally" frivolous law suit based on non-compliance as grounds for the litigation. They might win as the only defense the engineer has is the "Standard of Professional Care" which has not, as yet, been determined to be different than what is published as a minimum standard of the code. Some of us have been discussing the need to compensate for this by bringing engineers, who specialize in residential design, together to address the issues that the Seismology committee won't get to for months and use our work to help define a "standard of professional Care" that may not agree with the code. The intention is to present it as a petition which, when signed by a fair representation of the profession, will essentially attack the liability issue by creating a written "Standard of Professional Practice" for residential design. This is not a phrase that should be interpreted lightly as it represent our legal defense and our only viable means to create unity within the profession to legally defend ourselves from lack of compliance with a codified law. As to the comments about my response to why I don't use the deadload to resist uplift in a Shearwall. I can't say I never have - as Bill Allen pointed out, economics demands that I comply with my clients budget from time to time. I feel it is prudent to disregard the resistance because of the lack of quality control in the field that is beyond the engineers capability to control. This is a buffer against poor construction - much more than a compensation for any failing in the design method or code requirement. I used to think that engineering is the art of creating the most economical design that will maintain the minimum standard of life safety defined within the code. I can, in good faith, adhere to this credo when I know that most contractors will not build to the same level of care that I expect and will be looking a the financial bottom line over quality of construction most of the time. I urge those who wish to discuss the "Standard of Professional Care" issue to do so and to suggest how we might define this care to protect us from the same thing we must use to protect the public - our own code. Regards, Dennis S. Wish, PE SEConsultant(--nospam--at)Earthlink.net <mailto:SEConsultant(--nospam--at)Earthlink.net> (208) 361-5447 Efax -----Original Message----- From: Charles Greenlaw [mailto:cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)speedlink.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 1999 9:59 PM To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org Subject: Re: shear wall design; std. of care But to use the term "standard of care" as an offhand euphemism for "customary simplest method" is absolutely outrageous. "Standard of care" is a legal term of the most serious and grave import. It is defined in BAJI, the state's official jury instructions, and is the basis for jury, judge, or hearing officer to use in weighing evidence, including expert testimony, as to whether an accused person was negligent. Ignorant, careless use of this term by engineers can and does cause blameless engineers to be sued for serious money and to have revocations of their licenses pursued tenaciously by the PE Board. Costs to save one's savings and one's license to practice quickly runs to many tens of thousands of dollars, with no recourse against anyone. All because another engineer didn't know his engineering with enough versatility, and didn't know legal terms at all. Or worse. >Many, like Dennis Wish, recognize the issue and do not use the dead load >resistance that occurs between the ends of the wall. To the contrary, Dennis said he "never really thought about the reasons" for not using dead load out along the wall. Bill Allen however gave the reason that is the most compelling: There isn't enough fee to fool around calculating little increments of dead load to offset overturning uplift. This is the same disincentive I follow, even though I worked out for myself in Jan 1985 the same findings so well expressed by Nels Roselund the other day. But if I expect a calculated need for some hold-down device, I use a plenty strong and stiff one, because it costs little more than a wimpy one, and seismic loads are understated, and gravity has little available overstrength. Do I reckon with increased panel shear stress due to distributed O.T.-resisting dead load? I'll never tell, because it might not resemble some engineer critic's "standard of care". Charles O. Greenlaw, SE Sacramento CA Still on SEAOC Prof. Practice Committee; unsure why or for what good.
- Re: shear wall design; std. of care
- From: Charles Greenlaw
- Re: shear wall design; std. of care
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