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RE: Report on Wood Diaphragm Issues

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Thank you for your comments, but I want to be adamant that this has not been
a "battle" with winners or losers - if there are any winners they are, in my
opinion, home buyers. I was strongly convicted to my opinion that there was
a strong potential to widen the gap between prescriptive construction and
the minimum code requirements that professionals are required to follow. In
my opinion, the discontinuity was large enough to create an incentive for
builders, who had the options to follow prescriptive measures, to save money
over a more restrictive provision. In this case, we prevented the potential
shift in the number of homes that may have been designed by prescriptive
methods - which I believe would counteract the intention to mitigate
potential damages. This, in my opinion, would be counter-productive to the
good intentions of the policy makers.
I would like to express my appreciation for those who took the time to
submit their opinions (pro or con)that offered the Seismology and Code
committee enough information to arrive at this decision. If any lesson is to
be learned, even a few voices with sufficient facts and evidence can change
the opinions of fair and intelligent people. It also proved that the voices
of a few carry a great distance and that the apathetic or non-response is
taken for granted as approval of the policy makers when in reality it simply
a no-response. Therefore, it is not only important for "lurkers" to
participate when they have opinions but effective as well.
I urge all members of this Listservice to learn a lesson from this and to
participate as often and as freely as you care to voice opinions and present
facts as you known them. Policy makers are paying attention and your
opinions are important to the process.
Many thanks to all who participated from the List, general membership,
Seismology and Code Committee, each chapter of SEA and the board of
directors led by Ron Hamburger and John Shipp before him.

There is still much to do to improve upon the quality of construction. I
urge SEA to be open to the opinions of other organizations studying
residential construction - including NAHB, AISC, AIA, BIA and many others
groups who have devoted their efforts to one of the paths taken by these
groups mentioned. It is, in my opinion, more constructive to work with these
organizations rather than compete with them. Each members represents an
important component in the building process and each is qualified to
institute change within the process that would improve the quality and
performance of structures by education rather than stricter codes.

With this said, there is still much work to be done and I hope there will be
more resources to draw upon from those of you reading this post.

Dennis S. Wish, PE
SEConsultant(--nospam--at) <mailto:SEConsultant(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 Efax

-----Original Message-----
From: RShreenan(--nospam--at) [mailto:RShreenan(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Saturday, December 11, 1999 1:05 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Report on Wood Diaphragm Issues

I just received this e-mail.  It looks like Dennis's long, hard fought
is producing some encouraging results.  My hat is off to Dennis and others
who have pursued this issue and my thanks to Ron Hamburger and others on the
Seismology Committee that responded.

In this business it is hard to find time to get involved in complex issues
when one doesen't fully understand them.  I find it necessary to attend more
seminars each year just to keep up with new  code changes materials and
methodology.  When business is good you have to make hay while the sun is
shining.------My excuses.

I hope that this latest report on diaphragms will be accepted by plan check
on the intermin until the prescribed code changes are made official.

>From one of the many silent observers,
Ray Shreenan