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Virtual Wood Committee

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For those interested, there is, supposedly, a Wood Committee (or
sub-committee to seismology). The SEAOSC wood committee is chaired by Bill
Nelson, SE (Johnson & Nielsen) who has been known to pop up on our list from
time to time.

I have volunteered my time to help set up a committee structure that would
allow anyone to participate whether physically or Virtually. One of the
"rules" I suggested was to code the subject lines of our postings. Because
the General Listservice participants are adamant against creating more rules
and regulations to govern the list, I proposed two separate lists.

General Wood Listservice (GWL)

The general wood list would be a public forum to discuss the code issues
that need to be resolved in wood framing. This list is moderated to a degree
in that posts to the list would be coded and easily retrievable so as to
differentiate their main issue (i.e., 10/lw or CantCol etc.) and control
possible "wandering" on to other topics.

I suggested using a separate list for two reasons; Specific information will
be easier to isolate and bind together and a dedicated wood list will
relieve some of the pressure on the SEAINT List for those who are not
interested in wood.

The GWL would provide a forum for all who issues related to wood design. I
would like to think that this list is "solution oriented" so as to take the
discussions to a point of constructive recommendations. Unlike other
committee structures, my intent was to have the issues resolved by the GWL
while those to publish the work and coordinate with the Seismology and Code
committees act only as representatives of the GWL. The decision as how best
to resolve should be coordinated with in the General List rather than left
to a few "experts".

Private Wood Listservice (PWL)

The Private Wood Listservice was intended to provide a working space for
those who will physically volunteer time and energies to assimilating the
work from the GWL into a form that can be presented to the Seismology and
Code committees. The PWL represents the GWL. The intent is to not allow any
small group of individuals to make binding decisions with the confidence of
the professional community.

The Reality of the Virtual Committee:

There is currently a Private Wood Listservice with some ten or twelve
members. Efforts to create a General Wood List have been ignored or denied
(I have not been given a rational explanation).

While the private wood list exists, there has been no progress or effort on
behalf of the committee past the discussions held on the SEAINT Listservice.
There has been, to my knowledge, no attempt to assimilate the information
from the threads on the SEAINT List (as would be done by a General Wood
List) past a point of identifying and rehashing the problems. Other than a
published consensus on 10/Lw and issues related to Cantilevered columns,
there have been no further progress on the many issues discussed on this
list since before July of last year.

This leads me to believe that the discussions on the SEAINT List are the end
of the line. Many of the issues resurface on the SEAINT List from time to
time but nary a peep out of Seismology or Code committees.

Personally, I'll add this to another failed attempt to be productive. If
anyone else has a valid suggestion for identifying the problems, and working
constructively to resolve them, I am all ears.  Until then, we have proved
that Virtual Committees are a thing of Science Fiction.

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
structures(--nospam--at) <mailto:structures(--nospam--at)>
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax