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There was some activity in the last few weeks regarding new gubernatorial
appts to the Ca. Building Standards Commission. This could be step 1 in
addressing Frank McClure's and Ron Gallagher's concerns.

This is an ideal time to float bill ideas to legislators. There are several
vehicles that could be amended in the second half of the session. But this
issue will be a tough sell unless there are numerous groups expressing
similar concerns and a consensus on ways to fix the problem. Most key
stakeholders don't currently identified the codes' watering down as a
problem. Nor is there a palatable solution that is politically achievable in
the near term.

You might think about making an active effort  to explain your concerns and
proposals to key stakeholders - CALBO, AIA-CC, CBIA, BOMA, CELSOC, HCD, DGS,
UC, CSU, CSSC, & others. The first organization above was established to
prevent the very thing you are suggesting to do. However, they are
rethinking their reason for being. The second, third, and fourth
organizations above are key proponents of national uniformity in codes. But
they are not entirely pleased with the status quo.

The CBSC's Code 2k Partnership seems to be mired in its attempts to rectify
the numerous conflicts between the UFC and IBC. Their current approach could
also be revisited by a newly constituted CBSC.

More importantly, a recent PEER Report 99-04 identifies the lack of code
enforcement and local and state government accountability as the key factor
in achieving reliable construction. California is characterized as less than
an energetic state in this regard when compared to Oregon, Alaska,
Conneticut, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New
York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Vermont. I mention this because there seems to be
a bit too much attention to what's inside the code when the much bigger
issues are inadequacies in enforcement. Peter May accurately states "After
such revelations (of lack of enforcement in post-earthquake reports),
stronger standards for building codes are often suggested despite the
attention these investigations also call to inadequacies in the ENFORCEMENT
of building codes." Let's not lose sight of this more relevant issue when
considering state amendments to the IBC. Other changes in the way California
ensures code compliance appear to be needed. We could get more earthquake
loss reduction by addressing the enforcement issue than the amendments
issue.

Holiday Cheers to all...

Fred Turner, Staff Structural Engineer, California Seismic Safety
Commission, 1755 Creekside Oaks Drive Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95833
916-263-0582 Work Phone, 916-263-0594 Fax fturner(--nospam--at)quiknet.com