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LRFD vs. notional loads / ICBO vs NFPA (ATTN; Peter Higgins)

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Peter Higgins:

I read your "letter to the editor" in _Structural Engineer_ (as well as the
whole article).  Please explain "notional load methods".  They are below my
radar.

Also, do you favor a 10th ed. ASD?  I do, because too many people are using it
too ignore (I use LRFD, and have used ASD in the past).  Also, I feel
incorporation into a LRFD/ASD manual would be confusing.

I read with abject terror the "draft" building code at the NFPA web site. 
Without going into great detial (which I can do as the discussion progresses),
the document appears to be _very_ "draft" indeed.  It's submission as anything
more than an outline is astounding.  I find it generally non-conservative and
too dependent on the judgement of engineers (did I just write that!?!?!).  It
is also shocking that the submission deadline is November 9, 2000.  More time
is needed to get broad input.  To my memory, very little attention has been
given to the NFPA code in the various engineering magazines.  My present
intention is to submit several proposals to delete whole sections of the code
and adopt industry standards instead (ACSE 7, ACI 318-99, etc.).  Arguments
contrary will be appreciated.

Finally, what would be an appropriate substitute for the FEMA/NERHP documents? 
I get the impression from those behind the documents that current design
practice is woefully behind current expectations for seismic events (that same
20 years you say LRFD in behind).

These questions are open to others, of course.

Keith Fix, PE CA (Structural)
Cromwell Architects Engineers
Little Rock, AR


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