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Re: American Know-How

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I just want to correct a comment made by one of my fellow canadians. CSA
stands for Canadian Standards Association. It puts out thousands of
different standards but it does not put out the National Building Code(NBC)
or the adopted version of NBC that each province adopts as the provincial
building code, i.e.BC Building Code or Alberta Building Code.  The NBC is
put together by a number of different code committes that work through
IRC(Institute for Research and Construction) to develope the NBC. NBC will
reference CSA standards relating to the design of different materials such
as wood, steel, concrete, glass,aluminum just to mention a few. NBC also
references a number of other CSA standards as well as ULC standards, NFPA,
CGSB standards just to name a few. You may find some of the same people
sitting on both NBC's code committees as CSA's committees. If one looks in
Section 2 of NBC, you will find a list of standards referenced in NBC. Just
thought I would like to avoid any confusion.

Gerry Buydens
Former member of BC Building Standards Branch

----- Original Message -----
From: <h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: March 10, 2001 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: American Know-How

> Mark Gilligan, Fellow Engineers,
> You should not be amazed by the extensive use of American construction
> codes throughout the world.  You Americans lead the world in the
> development of building construction science and related codes because
> you lead the world in the need to use building construction science and
> related codes.  It's only logical that developing countries that do not
> have the resources to develop their own codes and standards would choose
> to copy yours.
> The only deficiency in your codes is that there are too many of them
> and that they are all too independent of one another.  An added
> complication is that there are also too many internal barriers to free
> use on a national basis and too many political jurisdictions made up of
> non engineers who want to do their own thing.  Unfortunately, no one saw
> the need to make this part of the Canada - U.S.A free trade agreement a
> few years ago or we would all now be better off using the same codes.
> Let me tell you how our Canadian codes are co-ordinated because I think
> we've done a better job in this area than you have.  More than half a
> century ago we in Canada developed an organization called Canadian
> Standards Association (C.S.A.) which serves as a clearing house for all
> Canadian codes and standards and which fills some, but not all, of the
> roles of your A.I.S.C., A.C.I., A.S.T.M., and a number of others. We
> still have our own technical societies, such as E.I.C., and local
> chapters of some of yours such, as A.C.I., but they do not prepare codes
> in Canada.  In Canada we have the C.S.A. National Building Code
> Committee which has several subcommittees, one each for steel, concrete,
> timber, etc., etc.  Now this has a number of advantages: all of our load
> factors are the same whether we are designing in concrete, steel, or
> whatever;  engineers can be more mobile because they don't have to spend
> months learning a new code for each region; they also can learn faster
> and keep up to date more easily because there is only one code to
> learn.  In fact, he only disadvantage that I can think of is that we no
> longer have a competitive advantage over non residents who don't know
> our codes.
> I encourage you all to promote action to follow our lead in
> centralizing the development of codes and standards; it can only lead to
> our mutual economic advantage.  At the very least, those of you in
> private practise will have less codes to buy and everyone will need to
> spend less time keeping up to date on code developments.
> You say the Philippines is using the 1988 U.B.C.?  Good start!  They
> should now be encouraged to upgrade to the 1997 edition.  You may be
> interested in knowing that the Cayman Islands is using the Florida
> Building Code but I don't know what edition.
> Respecfully submitted,
> H. Daryl Richardson
> Calgary, Alberta, Canada
> Mark Gilligan wrote:
> >
> > Another instance of blatant American Code Imperialism . : )
> >
> > >>>For Reinforced concrete design, we use Ultimate
> > Strength Design Method based on ACI 318-83. In my
> > opinion this is pretty much same as ACI code and it is
> > totally acceptable if you use ACI code for reinforced
> > concrete design.<<<<
> >
> > It amazes me the prevalence of American construction codes in use in
> > countries.
> >
> > In the Philippines the structural code is a literal copy of the
> > in the 1988 UBC.
> >
> > In Saudi Arabia they accept, and seem to prefer, US Codes in spite of
> > fact that the  British had great influence in the past.
> >
> > A few engineering students go to college in the US, return to home
> > become responsible for major projects where they need to adopt technical
> > provisions, So they use the US codes that they are familiar with.
> >
> > Note the number of foreign chapters of ACI.
> >
> > American Imperialism is not dead it is just transformed. : )
> >
> > Mark Gilligan
> > Berkeley, Calif.
> >