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Re: Do we need new codes every three years?

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Sometimes its appropriate to express such thoughts in a negative tone. And I
agree with you that the situation as you have described it (and as it has
been reiterated with many others on this list) does deserve such a tone.

I think you have described the situation quite well. Thank you. Yes, the
situation does need to change.

If I might add, I would think that we, as professionals, can create the
proper environment for such communication to happen. We just have to put our
egos aside (as if that were easy!). Of course, a little business sense and a
knack for organization would help - not to mention the problem of time.
However, I believe that enough of us engineers are motivated to make a

To those of us who are motivated to make a difference:

1.) are there "movers and shakers" among us - the type who has power and
ability (and time), or who has the potential to gain it?

2.) Do we fully understand the problem(s) to adequately address the

3.) Are we willing to implement concrete action to promote progress?

We've done a lot of talkin' here. Now, who's taking action? (As for me, I
don't know what I could do.)

-Richard Flower, P. E.
Los Angeles, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Cain, William <bcain(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)' <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 11:42 AM
Subject: RE: Do we need new codes every three years?

>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:
>Communication, and
>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
>(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
>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.
>Oakland  CA