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RE: Apartment Building Collapse

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>I believe that the extreme loads on structures (seismic,
>wind, snow) have a probability of non-exceedance of typically 50 years,
I'd say that would be interpreted that the absolute minimum life is 
considered to be 50 years. 

As a corrolary, most of the people I know who are involved in residential 
construction have told me they wouldn't buy a house less than 15 years 
old anyway. Minnesota has had some pretty serious problems ranging from 
moisture accumulation and poor air quality to fancy coped structural 
joints that wouldn't hold for various reasons, and in houses in the 300 
grand+ price range. These may have service lives of around 50 years--some 
needed rehab that cost more than a new house (keeping in mind that the 
original cost included a lot, which wasn't replaced.) 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)