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RE: AISC Code of Standard Practice 2000

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Title: RE: AISC Code of Standard Practice 2000

>Can you elaborate as to how this statement [in Code Section 1.8] can be considered benevolent,
>or protection, as far as the structural engineer is concerned?

The Cliff's notes on the Committee discussions surrounding Section 1.8 in the 2000 AISC Code are as follows.

The issue was raised that it is all too common for a prostitute, er, I mean "expert" witness, to blame the engineer for a collapse during erection that had nothing to do with the structural adequacy of the complete design. Accordingly, the engineers on the AISC Code Committee expressed the need for some protection in the AISC Code of Standard Practice. It was stated that the engineer normally performs the design of the completed structure, not the partially erected structure. It was further stated that the erector is responsible for the partially erected structure and that the engineer could only be expected to have responsibility for the structural adequacy of the completed design, especially since the engineer would have no idea in most cases how the erector would plan to go about putting the building up. These ideas came together into the language you are now reading in Sections 1.8.1 and 1.8.2 of the 2000 AISC Code.

>Every interpretation I can think of is bad. Here are a few:
>Wrong strength steel is used by the fabricator: engineer is responsible.
>Details changed by someone without the engineer's knowledge after the
>shop drawings are approved:  engineer is responsible
>Wrong size anchor bolts installed:  engineer is responsible.
>Contractor cuts out part of the bottom flange of a beam to let a pipe
>pass through:  engineer is responsible.

I can assure you that in no way were any of these kinds of interpretations intended by the Committee. Would you testify to these kinds of interpretations yourself? I hope not.

>It appears that some other group had a better lobby and won this point
>and hung this thing around the necks of structural engineers.

As Secretary of the Committee, I can say first-hand that representation of interests on the AISC Code Committee was very well balanced. Furthermore, I can tell you that the people on the Code Committee worked together to find common ground with the intent of producing an AISC Code of Standard Practice that would be fair and equitable to all parties. They certainly didn't form a lobby or try to hang each other. If you could have been there to hear their discussions as I was, you'd have the same high regard for all of them that I do.

I hope you will agree that there is no need for an Oliver Stone expose at this point.

Charlie