In the current environment, with those who are involved in making the code
changes pleading lack of time to do it right, the three years may be too
short. However, from my perspective, I'm not sure 5 years (Shafat's
suggestion) or 12 years (Jim Korff's observation on the ASD cycle) or any
amount of time is enough because the basic problem (to paraphrase the real
estate industry) is:
As long as the proposed changes are not communicated in as widespread and
complete way as possible, and;
As long as the code approval process makes it so difficult for participation
(particularly by smaller firms), and;
As long as there is a rush to include the "latest and greatest" in the next
code without allowing for all appropriate perspectives to be heard and
actually considered and appropriate test examples in ALL materials worked
through to see the potential; and
As long as we have one "expert" proposing a solution to solve a specific
problem (eg., 10/Lw for shear walls) while another "expert" misinterprets
the provision for his own purposes with neither fully considering,
comprehending or apparently even caring about the potential impacts on other
We will continue to have the absurd situation we have today where a new
"international code", rushed to publication apparently without even a basic
level of proof-reading, is foisted on practitioners with certain "experts"
pet provisions included, no adequate commentary, no apparently realistic
means for amendment before the next code cycle and a large group of sharks
ready to litigate over provisions no one truly understands.
The code should be a consensus document of practitioners on how to insure
minimum requirements for safe design. Christopher Wright has told us,
numerous times, of one model (ASME Pressure Vessel Codes adoption process)
that works well. When are we going to listen?
Sorry if I sound a little negative! :<)
Bill Cain, S.E.
From: Vyacheslav Gordin [SMTP:scgordin(--nospam--at)hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: Do we need new codes every three years?
Thanks for a visionary topic and thoughtful (as usual) analysis.
three-year code cycle appears to be too short, counterproductive, or
unnecessary. Indeed, who benefits from such a situation?
the practicing engineers, and definitely, not the public...
IMHO, the list responses reflect a general concensus to that regard.
there a way, though, to form that great thought into something more
"concrete"? What will it take to practically switch to, say, a five
Steve Gordin, SE
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