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RE: SEAOC seismology opinion regarding 10/Lw factor for calculating rho

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Thank you for your response, Bob. Although the code cycle appears to be
frustrating, there are other options which the Seismology Committee does not
appear to be considering. Publishing a policy or position statement, in the
SEAOC Plan Review (quarterly journal) or ICBO's monthly journal will help
alleviate much of the problem by making building officials aware of the
original intention of the code and the recommendations of the Seismology
Committee as to how these ambiguous issues may be resolved. This can go a
long way to help remove some of the confusion that delays plan checks or
wastes time debating issues that are misinterpreted by mistakes in the code.
I feel frustrated because building officials are no necessarily accepting
compliance with the code and engineers are placing themselves in a
potentially serious position that makes them susceptible to possible
litigation arising from a frivolous foundation or complaint. This can arise
from any party in the building process who becomes dissatisfied in the
performance of any player. Once an expert witness is brought in to evaluate
the failings of each party, the EOR who has not met minimum compliance is a
much bigger target.

A local architect asked why I just don't obtain E&O insurance and let the
insurance company handle it if it should occur. First off, I become
responsible for a deductible with each complaint. This essentially negates
my design fee (or most of it). Second, this is not the appropriate way to
resolve the problem. Furthermore, it is not, in my opinion, professionally
responsible of SEAOC to take a position of ambivalence to the issues.

Let me be clear that I do recognize that members of SEAOC and the Seismology
Committee do exist that are as frustrated as I am. One of the most prominent
who I admire for promising to resolve the issues is Ron Hamburger who, as
most of us know, is the state president. I sometimes wonder if even the
Seismology Committee is to big for the board of directors at state level.

It's no secrete that I am on a soapbox on this issue, but my only weapon at
this time is my public opinion.

Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert J Bossi, PE [mailto:rjbossi(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 9:35 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: SEAOC seismology opinion regarding 10/Lw factor for
calculating rho


There is a repeal process at ICBO by which the Board of Directors can make
emergency code changes (effective immediately) subject to ratification of
full membership at the next annual meeting.  I am not sure how this works
the ICC.  If this were (or could) be done, I "guess" the state of California
could select the 2000 ICC "as amended" as the model code but we are
into an area without  legal precedent.

As far as SEAOC's code change proposal, it goes something like this ( you
get actual dates, places and committee memberships from the icbo web site).
Code changes to the 2000 IBC will result in the 2001 Supplement.
They had to be submitted by November 1.
The submitted changes will be published in late January.
There will be a hearing by an ICC Committee in the spring in Birmingham,

The results will be published and may be challenged.
Any challenges will be voted on in the fall at the joint ICBO/BOCA annual
meeting in San Francisco.  (How does SBCC vote?)
The supplement will be published.

The SEAOC Code Change will have no practical effect in California because
state adopts only the codes every 3 years not the supplements.  It is
that an emergency amendment could be made (like the deletion of the pre
qualified moment joint after Northridge) by the CBSC but I doubt that is a
possibility as the change would be less restrictive.  Also, the SE seat on
CBSC is vacant as the governor, after 11 months in office, still has not
made an

California local governments may not adopt any changes to the code which are
less restrictive.

We are most probably stuck with Rho until at least January 2004 or later
the 2001 and 2003 supplements automatically become part of the 2003 IBC and
code becomes the model code in CA.

SEConsultant wrote:  <SNIP>

> So far, Mr. Johnson has written to tell me that it is not possible to
> the code as Bob Bossi has outlined. I think that Mr. Johnson simply is not
> motivated to explore the possibility with ICBO.
> Respectfully,
> Dennis S. Wish PE
> -