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Re: December 4, 1999, Seismology Committee Recommendations.[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: December 4, 1999, Seismology Committee Recommendations.
- From: Charles Greenlaw <cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)speedlink.com>
- Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 18:49:32 -0800
At 03:59 PM 12/12/99 EST, Frank McClure wrote: Someone should clarify if the International Residential Code will supersede the International One- and Two- Family Dwelling Code when the International Residential Code is adopted and/or has been adopted by the ICC. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Two documents that recently arrived in the mail speak to this issue. How much clarity results is for the reader to discern, same as for how much comfort and reassurance might be found. First, here are some remarks by veteran (and residential construction adept) SEAOC-Central Section Code Committee Chair Doug Krug, excerpted from his two-page report in the Dec. 1999 issue of Central's Newsletter: "[Besides developing the IBC,] The ICC is also developing a International Residential Code (IRC) concurrent with the IBC. At this time it is not certain how this code integrates with the IBC -- some scope and administrative topics concerning the two codes remain unresolved. Adding to the complexity is a code process for the IRC that differs in philosophy and deliberation from that used by the IBC. It is not unusual for an issue to be voted "approved" for the IBC and the same issue to be voted as "disapproved" for the IRC. "How these two codes coexist administratively remains at debate. Alan Robinson of SEAONC, and our current SEAOC/CODE Chair, has volunteered his time as SEAOC Representative to the IRC process and remains the most familiar with its state of development." The other info came as an attachment to the long-form agenda for the Calif. PE Board's SE Technical Advisory Committee meeting for Dec 15, 1999. (I subscribe to the PE Board's long agenda mailings at my own expense; it's a higher cost than than my SEAOC dues.) In this agenda is a reprint of an column in the Third Quarter, 1999, issue of Calif. Building Industry Assn. Journal, by CBIA Technical Director Bob Raymer, who reports: "In July, the [Calif.] Building Standards Commission ratified the recommendations of the Code 2000 Advisory Group regarding which of the competing national model building codes will be used as the basis for the state code [the 2001 edition of Calif Bldg Code etc.] that takes effect in the year 2002. The national codes gaining CBSC approval were: "The IBC and IRC as published by the ICC; the Uniform Plumbing Code and Mechanical Codes, as published by the Int'l Assn of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; and the Uniform Fire Code, as published by the Western Fire Chiefs Assn." In short, ICC's Building and Residential model codes are both going to be used, but ICC's model codes for mechanical, plumbing, and fire were rejected by the CBSC for California. Mr Raymer explained that, "several state agencies suggested staying with the 1997 Edition of the UBC rather than switching over to the new International Building/Residential Codes as a way of reducing the 'administrative workload'. This meant extensive comparative analysis had to be done on national codes covering FOUR subject areas." (regarding IBC/IRC as a single subject area.) The Advisory Group however recommended switching to the IBC and IRC, which apparently conform to federal FEMA demands, unlike the 97 UBC, and that position prevailed. So who's the "Code 2000 Advisory Group"? According to Mr Raymer, this reportedly is a body "...established by the CBSC in 1998, comprising of over sixty private and public entities, seven state agencies and a total of 193 individual participants. The first task of the Advisory Group was to conduct a comprehensive review of the competing model codes." Their next job is "to review the chosen codes for formatting and content conflicts and offer suggestions on resolving those conflicts." There is also a newly strengthened legislative mandate in California that apparently requires eliminating all those California amendments to the model code that fail to satisfy a re-justification process. (Adoption of the model codes into their official California versions routinely encumbers them with scads of amendments.) It would appear that where "content conflicts" (and belatedly recognized "mistakes" such as Rho for plywood shearwalls) are identified, the same review processes are available to correct such problems, post-ICC adoption, but pre-CBSC adoption. Certainly many SEAOC members are involved in this review-and-fix process as employees of state agencies, but what about for the private sector? I wonder what role, if any, SEAOC per se has in this review, and if there is any role, whether persons representing SEAOC perceive any duty to represent the interests of that part of the SEAOC membership that actually practices and specializes in various types of woodframe buildings of the sort people live in. To maybe answer the above question in part, Doug Krug's newsletter report refers to a "2000 Code Partnership" and says that the SEAOC representative to it is Larry Summerfield, also of Central Section, whom I know on our local Code Committee. What about Seismology Committee, which appears to have retaken control of residential woodframe lateral force issues from Code? And what practical effect does committee participation really have? As Doug Krug diplomatically understated, IBC timelines from day one have been so badly compressed that local committee members cannot get code proposals in their hands in time to give anything but a drop-everything cursory review before the deadline for response passes. An impression has jelled over the last four years that no response does any good anyway. The latest episode of that concerns input to the 2003 IBC, which of course is an amended 2000 IBC. Deadline for these amendments to the 2000 IBC was Nov 1,1999, but the 2000 IBC, although adopted by IBC, is not even in print yet, let alone in use. Only insiders and code groupies have much sense of what's in it, by virtue of constant immersion in the soup kettle from the start. I get the idea that more participants on SEAOC codewriting committees is not the magic answer to codewriting ills it's claimed to be. As long as being a local committee participant remains as helpful and influential as being a barnacle on a whale's back, discontent with the real codewriters (and their irritation by crusty little folk) may persist. Charles O. Greenlaw, SE Sacramento CA
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