Mike Valley brings up a timely issue.
I suggest the profession reemphasize the art and science of detailing. More
thoughtful detailing can often make a much bigger difference in the
reliability of structures and nonstructural systems than analysis. Of late,
we generally overemphasize the computer aspects of engineering.
Too often our computerized philosophies encourage designers to create
misproportioned systems. To make matters worse, the latest philosophies
don't yet translate readily to ensure consistent proportioning of details.
We should revisit and refresh the basics: 1) Connect parts of buildings
thoroughly with rational load paths. 2) Identify and control the modes and
sequences of failure and preferred response of connections as well as
members. and 3) Avoid incompatibility of deformations.
Food for thought...
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