To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: Complexity of Code
From: Peter Higgins <76573.2107(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 18:40:08 -0500
I cannot agree more.
A while ago, I compared the rosters of the original Blue Book committee
with the latest. An interesting exercise
Original: 28 members, of whom 20 were active practitioners (i.e. applying
their seal to major new designs), most of them emminent men in the field
whose names are easily recognized by people today. The rest were academics
and building officials. I do not believe any ICBO or other code publishing
persons were members.
Latest: 67 members, of whom about 20 were active practitioners, the rest
academics, and a large proportion of ICBO/code body persons. Very few "big
names" in the sense of the original committee.
The trend is clear: the "code making" committees are getting larger, while
the proportion of active pratictioners is dropping. The end result is
getting very "unfriendly" for the everyday engineer. Some of the most
arcane stuff is finding its way into the code. No active practitioner would
sanction most of the newer provisions. They lack easy applicability, let
alone clear intent.
Over 2/3 of the present committee writing seismic code does not practice
engineering for a living. Small wonder the practioners cannot figure it
The first thing SEAOC could do to restore their stature would be to purge
about 40 members from the seismology committee and subcommittees and
institute a rule that at least 50% of the members of any committee be
active practitioners. An active practitioner would be defined as a
functioning EOR who applies his seal to actual construction, not a code
type or professional "peer reviewer" type. This would require support for
the new members, who would have to be attracted, but usually are far too
busy to participate.
Peter Higgins, SE