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RE: Two Codes !!

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From:   Peter Higgins, 76573,2107
To:     INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org, INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
        
Date:   9/26/00  9:01 AM

RE:     RE: Two Codes !!

Stan

You're not the only one wishing for a common code, but if the cost of
unification is the IBC 2000 and the ICC, then count me out.

IBC 2000 is an unqualified mess. We have already had numerous threads
regarding structural issues, but this is the tip of the iceberg. If
anything, the rest of it is even worse. Here's an example: Shopping malls
with large buildings on the ends (anchor stores) must have a 2 hr fire
separation between the end buildings and the covered mall, yet are allowed
700+ square feet openings at each floor (!). Even minimum roof pitches are
governed in a totally arbitrary and nonsensical way. Since when is
regulating roof pitch (sensibly or not) a life safety issue? The process is
out of control. It would be laughable if it weren't so serious.

ICC consists of building officials only. Nowhere is it written that
building officials are the sole repository of wisdom in the field of
building safety.  Yet they are the only ones to get a vote. The rest of us
have to plead our case as if we are somehow second class citizens in the
quest for public safety. [The fact that the State they serve in has made us
personally responsible for same by sealing our designs while they enjoy
soverign immunity is conveniently swept aside.] This is a fundamental flaw
in the system, and taken to the extremes of monopoly, it has yielded IBC
2000.

Everyone must have full access to the code making system, and no one should
be allowed special status. If NFPA remains true to their past, the code
committees will be a balanced blend of owners, regulators, designers,
builders, and manufacturers. It isn't a perfect system, but it allows
everyone a vote, not just the building officials.

It also makes better code at a fraction of the cost of ICC. NFPA standards
have their flaws like any other document. However, all of them are a whole
lot better than just about anything IBC 2000 has. This is a direct result
of the fact that the entire spectrum of "wisdom" sits at the table and has
a vote. ICC doesn't allow that, and is fundamentally flawed because of it.

I don't like having another code running around either. However, IBC
desperately needs fixing, and the ICC is making that process impossibly
difficult. 

Let NFPA have a crack at it. I can't accept the ICC system. Self appointed
experts and Tsars have no place in code making, no matter how well
intentioned they are.

Peter S. Higgins, SE

Message text written by INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
>       For the past thirty years, I have longed for the day when there
would be
        only one model building code in the United States.  Although far
from
        perfect, I thought that IBC-2000 was going to be that code.<

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