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RE: American Know-How

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Roger Turk wrote:

> The IBC is just an index to other codes and standards.  Some parts of the
IBC 
> list only changes to a referenced code or standard.  Instead of having
just 
> one book to look at, we will now have to look at the IBC and see what it 
> references, then drag that reference out to see what it requires, then
drag 
> out the local amendments to see how they change the requirements.

I guess it depends upon your perspective, but I prefer it this way.
Previously, 
if I was familiar with ACI 318 and the AISC Manual, I was faced with a
rewritten 
Code which was not clear where it differed from the national reference codes
I was 
already familiar with. Many engineers simply used the reference codes for
design 
rather than review the detailed rewritten code provisions, out of
frustration with 
trying to understand two codes. By using codes by reference with local
amendments, 
it is clear to me where the local code differs from the national reference
codes 
that I am familiar with. 

> However, if past performance of the UBC is any indication, the references 
> will be at least one release behind.  So, in addition to checking the 
> requirements in the first paragraph, the prudent engineer would then have
to 
> check to see if there is a more recent edition of the referenced code or 
> standard, and then check to see if there are more stringent requirements
in 
> the latest edition.

Although an engineer should be prudent when familiar with code changes which
are 
the result of recent failures, I do not agree that an engineer must design
per 
the latest code provisions if a previous code is the code that has been
locally 
adopted. For example, I use the rebar splice lengths from ACI 318-89 when
designing 
in an area which references the 1994 UBC, since that is the legally adopted
design 
standard. I am not aware of serious problems with those rebar requirements
and thus 
feel that I should follow the legally adopted code. And in some cases the
latest code 
requirements may be less stringent than the adopted code - I know of one
project which 
ran into problems because a later code was used for classifying building
occupancies 
where the new code provisions were less stringent than the adopted code
provisions.