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RE: NFPA code

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Mark,

You would be more astonished if all of the NFPA standards and requirements
were brought directly into the IBC.  The building code (UBC, IBC, etc.)
dabbles in fire requirements.  For simple building type structures the
building codes have been generally adequate.  When it comes to nonbuilding
structures (as an example), the building code fire requirements are often
wrong.  The fire marshals rely more on the NFPA as opposed to the building
code.  The NFPA will continue to recognize all of the UL assemblies as they
always have, and just as the building codes have. The NFPA will be able to
focus more directly on fire protection than the building codes ever could.

The building code should develop all of the rules within their purview and
should reference to other codes as appropriate.  A similar contention
applies for concrete design.  The building code should reference the ACI
318.  Steel should be referenced to AISC, etc.  The reference relationship
to the NFPA is appropriate.  Especially when it comes to odd or unusual
structures the NFPA is the proper venue.  

Because of the building code and a narrow minded building official, I once
had a building official insisting on putting sprinklers in a nuclear fuel
reprocessing facility.  Fortunately his superior recognized the potential
disaster.  (If the BO would have gotten his way, the project would have been
abandoned as unsafe.)  The NFPA offers many solutions to fire hazard.  The
NFPA people have a much better understanding of fire, fire suppression,
hazardous materials, etc.  The NFPA people also have a better understanding
of the concept of engineered solutions.

Regards,
Harold Sprague


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Mark Webster [SMTP:markdwebster(--nospam--at)hotmail.com]
> Sent:	Friday, May 19, 2000 9:10 AM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject:	RE: NFPA code (was ASCE 7-98 and 1/3 Increase for Wind Load)
> 
> I heard a couple of days ago that NFPA is proposing a competing code to
> the 
> IBC to be published as early as 2001 or 2002. I am astonished! Just when I
> 
> thought the days of multiple building codes were behind us with the advent
> 
> of the IBC.  So if we don't act to ensure uniformity of structural design 
> provisions in the two codes, the days of keeping track of subtle
> differences 
> between codes may not yet be behind us.
> 
> Can anybody else tell us more about these developments and what steps we
> as 
> structural engineers are taking, and what we should be doing, to address 
> them?
> 
> Mark D. Webster
> Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
> 297 Broadway
> Arlington, MA  02474
> 781-643-2000
> mdwebster(--nospam--at)sgh.com
> www.sgh.com
>