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RE: Do we need new codes every three years?

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If it were up to me, the Code of Hamurabi should still be used.  O.K. the
3700 year code cycle might be a bit too long, and the 3 year cycle might be
a bit too short.

I think what has driven much of the recent consternation is not as much
about the cycle time, but it is more about the volume and scope of changes
in the recent codes.  Serving on the BSSC, my seat on this roller coaster is
a little closer to the front, but we are all on the same ride.  The 1997 UBC
was an incremental step to the 1997 NEHRP / 2000 IBC.  

What drove the changes in NEHRP land from my view point was akin to changing
a washer in a house with old plumbing.  We unscrewed the faucet cap and
found that the faucet was broken.  When we changed out the faucet, the pipe
in the wall came apart.  It wasn't too long till the street was dug up all
the way back to the water treatment plant which was built in 1915.  When one
problem with the code was addressed, other problems and incompatibilities
were found.  

The changes in the code were not capricious as many on this list infer.  The
engineers on the various committees in the BSSC process have a similar
aversion to change.

Is the 3 year cycle too long?  It could be, but I don't think that our job
would be that much different even if the code was on a 10 year cycle.  The
annual supplements would just be bigger.

I am just an iron worker who became an engineer because I wasn't good enough
to become an old iron worker.  Change and bureaucracy are an aversion for me
also.  I get a lump in my throat just thinking about the 1982 UBC, and 25
pages that covered LL, DL, snow, wind, and seismic.  

Harold Sprague

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Shafat Qazi [SMTP:seaint-ad(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Monday, May 15, 2000 8:54 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	Do we need new codes every three years?
> Dear List members:
> I was thinking, do we really need a new building code every three years? 
> Really, I do not see new stuff coming up so fast anyway. I feel that if we
> change the cycle from three to five years, we probably will have better 
> codes that will go through proper review process. Plus less confusion in 
> our Industry. By the time we get to know the new code, we are then 
> presented with a new one. This leaves us open to more errors.
> Your take on it?
> Shafat Qazi, P.E.
> SEAINT Admin