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California Building Code seismic provisions.

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Rick Drake,

Thank you for your informative message with reference to the SEAOC seismology 
web page concerning the 2000 IBC and the lack of influence of the SEAOC and 
its State Seismology Committee in the 2000 IBC and 2003 IBC seismic 
provisions.

I would want to get some input from others before I would formally propose 
that SEAOC consider looking at the use of  the California Building Code as a 
vehicle for providing the seismic provisions that adequately protect the 
people of California if the IBC and the ICC process does not meet the needs 
of the State of California.

I realize that it would require some changes in California state laws and 
regulations for California to adopt a "California Building Code" that was 
appreciably different from the latest national model building codes, such as 
the UBC currently and I assume the IBC in the future, which is required by 
current California state laws. 

It would require a considerable lobbying effort to get the California 
Legislature and the California Building Standards Commission, etc., to adopt 
a "California Building Code" which is appreciably different from the national 
model building code, but if the SEAOC believed that the IBC did not provide 
adequate protection for the people of California, then it might be possible.  
Such a proposal could face considerable opposition from the other groups that 
play an active role in the building industry, such as the building 
contractors, material suppliers, national material code agencies, other 
quasi-code development agencies, national engineering organizations, etc.

I would hope others would comment on this possibility of a "California 
Building Code" with seismic provisions that are different from the IBC 
seismic provisions. I believe that Ron Gallagher, Co-Chair of the 1999 Blue 
Book Committee, discussed the possibility of using the Blue Book Provisions 
as the basis from the future "California Building Code" seismic amendments 
provisions that differ from national model seismic codes in an earlier SEAOC 
Plan Review newsletter.

Some will argue that it is a "done deal" and we are "shipped for the voyage" 
on the "IBC" and we can not turn the "ship" around and go back to the pier 
and board the "California Building Code" ship.  

Henry Degenkolb warned SEAOC many years ago of the potential problems with a 
national building code that did not properly address the seismic protection 
needs of 
California because the national building code seismic provisions would have 
to be diluted down in any national building code consensus process.  I 
believe that is what has happened with the IBC development process seismic 
provisions.

Again, I would appreciate comments from others on this important subject of  
"California Building Code" seismic provisions which would be more detailed 
than the IBC seismic provisions.  By copy of this email message I am 
encouraging others to respond to my informal proposal.  I also realize that 
this time of year is a poor time to raise such an important issue, but maybe 
a few will take the time to respond, hopefully after January 1, 2000. 


Frank E. McClure       December 24, 1999