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Re: UBC 1997 Special Inspections Zone 4

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Teresa,

I find that people in general (including contractors and deputy inspectors)
have a pretty clear understanding of what is required for structural
stability under gravity loads, but have difficulty interpreting details
related to seismic resistance if they have any ambiguity -- and ambiguities
often are not apparent to the designer of the detail.

For that reason, its important that the designer, or a person under the
designer's direct supervision observe construction of the details that
provide seismic
restraint.  Deputy Inspectors are not structural engineers -- a deputy
inspector observing in your stead will need to have open, regular
communication with you.  Still, based on what I've seen, I'd be
uncomfortable with the arrangement you are considering -- I think that the
designer needs to know directly whether the plans are being correctly
interpreted and needs to have the opportunity to clarify the drawings to the
builder based on direct observation.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer