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RE: Committee on Wood

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I have found that the Bluebook (and, by inference, any offical committee opinion) carries weight at the building department. 

Unfortunately, it carries no weight with attorneys seeking quick profits for little or no work. No matter what the opinion is, if the design is not code compliant, it is beneath the standard of care.

The fact is that only engineers with assets to protect and/or high insurance deductibles are going to be adversely affected by many of the, frankly, unjustified changes to the code. The redundancy factor as it applies to flexible diaphragm structures is without merit, IMHO. Nevertheless, I will apply it to my clients liability. Unless they specifically hold me harmless against liability from non-compliance (other than actual physical damage, of course), I will advise them that the code is what it is. If they choose to go elsewhere for some garage office engineering from uninsured engineers, so be it. It will not relieve them from full responsibility for the decision. They will be unable to deny that they didn't know.

The fact is that none of my clients have gone elsewhere. They are eager to see some sensibility brought bacjk to the code.

I believe that the redundancy factor is valid as a concept but not as actually enacted. Instead of a penalty it should have been a reward for creating a more redundant structure through a force reduction or as a modification to the R factor. That is really where redundancy should be incorporated.

Anyway, my gout is acting up and I am getting more agitated as I write. The greatest agitation is knowing that I had an opportunity over two years ago to make my opinion known as a member of the San Diego Seismology Committee. I actually did an analysis of the code changes without considering the dumb Rho factor. Oh well. I am my own worst enemy!

Mark E. Deardorff, SE
Deardorff & Deardorff, Inc.
Ramona, CA 92065

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Gilligan [mailto:MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 4:15 PM
> To: INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: RE: Committee on Wood
> In response to:
> >>Good on 'em. It's not going to be a cure-all (at least the 
> ASME Code 
> interpretations haven't been) but it will be a valuable source of 
> information and a means for settling differences of opinion 
> that don't 
> require an immediate answer. I presume the interpretations are to be 
> considered official committee interpretations.<<
> It needs to be appreciated that the SEAOC  Seismology 
> Committee does not
> maintain any Codes or Standards.  In addition when it is used in model
> codes the "Blue Book" is not referenced rather the text finds 
> its way into
> the text of a code change proposal.
> In this context it is not sure what impact interpretations 
> will have other
> than as background information.
> Mark Gilligan