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RE: Two Codes !!

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I believe that large cities and counties in California do have many
engineering's on board. LA county ,city of LA, city of Santa Monica ,city of
San Jose etc. etc. do have engineers of high caliber as staff of the
building department .

On the other hand I do not know how many engineers of civil or structural
background work for the NFPA which is a fire protection agency and primary
agency in California is the western fire chiefs.

As to the code , the code officials in California have been accepting the
SEAOC's blue book almost without exception as the structural back bone of
the building codes in the past years . So for the past years the power has
been with the Blue book and SEAOC and not the building officials in
California .

if we do not like the code it will be because we did not like the blue book.
The SEAOC blue book however is a  result of efforts of SEAOC's efforts  and
the building officials should not be blamed for its contents or its
process, or lack thereof. 

If we want to know how the NFPA codes are we can look at the national
electric code , also called the national exception code. There are so many
exceptions to exceptions that if that happened to the structural provisions
we will have every one complaining. Most these exceptions are put in by
vendors and special interests pushing their products into the code.

Traditionally in California the building officials have accepted the blue
book almost in its entirety and put it into the UBC and I hope everyone
knows that by now. That has been a compliment to the SEAOC's blue book due
to the confidence exhibited in SEAOC blue books by CA code officials.  I
must add that blue book has been one of nation's leading documents in
engineering.

 The good thing about the building officials being the voting members has
been that they are impartial and they do not get get affected by the vendors
trying to push their products into the code. I also believe that during the
Northridge earthquake the Building officials have supported the SEAOC in
passing of emergency measure through the state legislature etc.

Well as most of us have to work a good 10 or 20 more years before retirement
,we have to be open ,I personally do not mind   which code is in effect but
I thought I mention these on behalf of engineers that work for a building
dept.

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Higgins [mailto:JillHiggins(--nospam--at)compuserve.com]
Sent: Monday, September 25, 2000 1:12 PM
To: INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Two Codes !!


Their point of departure will no doubt be NEHERP.

But Ben's point remains. NFPA should be far more responsive to change than
ICC. We need this flexibility and response badly. ICC simply isn't
listening to arcane technical points, quite probably because the necessary
expertise isn't on the committee to begin with.

How many building officials do you know who have actually confronted a
blank sheet of paper and put a seal on a finished design? I'm sure there
are a few, but I have yet to meet one. Given that, what right do they have
to dictate design? Granted they should have a voice. But sole control? I
don't think so.

Peter Higgins, SE

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