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RE: News from the IBC front

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That the posts from Ben Yousefi and Harold Sprague came in the same download 
is most appropriate.

Harold Sprague wrote (RE: 1000 year old Engineering wonder):

>>I was fortunate to have a great uncle in Germany who was a master builder
for the Catholic Church.  As a master builder he was the architect,
engineer, and contractor on several churches and cathedrals.  His great
grandson in Germany is aware of which ones that he built.  I only know that
he had a few in Europe, one in South America and one in Texas.

When I was in Germany in the late 70's, the grandson showed me some of his
drawings.  They were extraordinary for their detail.  I remember in
particular the interior perspective drawings and the carved stone detail
drawings which were dimensioned and shaded.

They learned their craft by working under master builders, and studying
projects from the previous centuries of both successes and failures of
previous master builders.<<

And Ben Yousefi wrote:

>>The exception for Rho coefficient application to diaphragms (which I
wholeheartedly agree with) was defeated mainly due to the opposition from
the FEMA/NEHRP people. I think that group is probably the only one that sees
justification in applying a factor, which is entirely based on the vertical
lateral force resisting system, to a horizontal element which rarely has
been a problem. Unfortunately, the opinion of this single group carries an
unproportional weight for most of the committee members.<<

Since the FEMA/NEHRP provisions had only been adopted by regional codes where 
earthquakes are not really a concern, and the provisions have never been 
tested as the SEAOC provisions have been, these people, of course, know more 
than you in California!  (I am, of course, being sarcastic!)

We, as engineers, must learn from the past, the "successes and failures of 
previous" engineers.  When we start thinking that we now know so much more 
than previous engineers, have computers that can now calculate down to the 
width of a gnat's eyebrow, and disregard previous failures and successes, 
then we are going to have a lot more failures!

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona