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RE: California Building Code seismic provisions.

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Excellent point Frank.

I am currently a CALBO representative to the 2000 Code Partnership. This 
Committee is assigned with the task of making a recommendation to the 
California Building Standards Commission on the adoption of the 2000 codes. 
During the past few weeks we have been trying to evaluate the discrepancies 
between the IBC and the Uniform Building/Fire Codes in regard to the 
occupancy classifications. The California State Fire marshal has strong 
reservations about the IBC and they have not endorsed the adoption of IBC. 
Even if everyone eventually buys into the IBC, it appears that there will be 
substantial modifications to the IBC to incorporate unique features of the 
California Building Code into the IBC.

During these deliberation the same thought occurred to me as you are 
suggesting. Why not use this vehicle to improve on the IBC rather than wait 
until the 2003 is adopted, which will probably be sometime in 2005.

I do not believe that we should reinvent the wheel and create a whole new set 
of seismic provisions for California, although I have serious concerns about 
the format and the language of the IBC seismic provisions. I strongly support 
a common set of standards for the entire country since this would create a 
consistent and uniform knowledge base for the design professionals throughout 
the nation. You are also likely to get a substantial resistance from many 
engineers from California that have been involved in the NEHRP/IBC process if 
you wanted to scrap the IBC provisions entirely. 

However, there are specific improvements that we can make to the IBC such as 
in areas of the wood diaphragms, redundancy, R value and other areas that 
have been discussed at length on this list server. For those types of 
"tweaking" I believe that CBC could provide a valuable tool especially since 
the State building Standards commission is currently in the process of 
evaluating and adopting the IBC.

You are a visionary Frank.

Happy Holidays

Ben Yousefi, SE
San Jose, CA

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