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RE: ACI 355.2

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It is my understanding that the Lawsuit was rescinded by ITW. It was also my
understanding, and probably the same as yours, that the suit was only
intended to provide an injunction necessary to stop the codification
process. I might be wrong on this as this was my interpretation from reading
the comments on the List.

I still believe that if there is a valid argument on both sides of the
issue, it should be debated openly, where the professional community can
decide the outcome rather than leaving the decision to a selected few who
choose to dictate their desires.

As you know, I have very strong opinions in which I believe it is wrong to
arbitrarily create more restrictive code provisions when there are
alternative solutions. In many cases, the alternatives are obstacles which
are very difficult to overcome because they represent strong lobbies from
other groups that creates frustration and is most often unyielding or
unwilling to compromise.  An example of this might be the difficulties that
exist between the ICC and NFPA which seems insurmountable at the moment. It
appears to be easier to create more restrictive design methods within codes
that engineers have more leverage or control, but it create conflict and
often unnecessary cost to the public. No obstacle is truly insurmountable
between true professionals, however, I can understand the frustration level
and desire to seek a separate path while gambling on the results for
control. The building profession is divided on many issues, creating
independent factions who are struggling for power. This is not a new
approach to resolving conflict and ultimately leads to an imperfect or
highly flawed solution. An example of this is the current discontinuity
between the UBC prescriptive provisions and the full-compliance measures in
the same code. There has yet to be a solution that draws these two
conflicting ideologies closer together. In fact, the strength of conviction
from each side has created greater separation which may change the balance
between buildings designed and constructed by prescriptive methods and those
which had been historically designed to full-compliance. The differences has
affected the cost of construction which changes the baseline on potential
construction quality to be dependent on profit rather than performance.

This is why, in my opinion, it is imperative that both arguments be
presented to the professional community quickly for evaluation by those
whose intuition and engineering knowledge not be taken for granted. The
professional community, not the few in policy making positions should derive
a collective consensus or make the final decision as to what the code should

I, for one, would appreciate it if anyone who is able to present the
arguments of both sides in a clear and unbiased manner would do so. There
should also be commentary submitted that clearly explains the decisions made
and references to appropriate testing or evidence to support the argument.

This also brings up an additional point which I tried to make. While code
revisions clearly indicate the changes from the prior version (by solid
vertical lines down the edge of the changes in a document) there is no prior
history, that I am aware of, to track the evolution of the changes further
back. I realize that this can be done by obtaining the prior drafts, but
this is difficult to do unless they are made available to the professional

As codes become more complicated, as past members of committees retire or
pass on, the link to their rationalization of how and why changes occurred
will be lost with them. There are better solutions in this complex world of
International Code creation to track information. I suggest that committees
adopt a means to create logical flow charts of the code creation process as
well as attempting to rebuild past rationalizations of questionable code
content. This process is easily handled electronically. The threads can be
maintained and the professional community will no longer rely upon post
codification debate as to how and why a change occurred. Inasmuch as drafts
are created electronically, the historic evolution of the draft process can
easily be maintained. However, commentary and explanation as to past
rationalization has not been documented or maintained. Dick Phillips made
this clear when the issue surrounding the creation of the Rho factor was so
vehemently argued. Dick stood up at a SEAOSC seminar to announce that he had
arbitrarily chosen the code factors based on 10-foot shearwalls. This issue
had been argued for months while a short note in the draft would have saved
hours of guessing.

If anyone can present this argument from each side, I'll be pleased to
publish it immediately on the Structuralist.Net and hopefully it will be
published as well on the website for professionals to review and
comment. It is my understanding that this must be done in the next few weeks
as the deadline is May 1, 2001. Can this be resolved within the professional
community or are we spinning our collective wheels and at the mercy of a few
policy makers?

Dennis S. Wish, PE

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Gilligan [mailto:MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2001 12:51 PM
> To: INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: RE: ACI 355.2
> Dennis
> You make the assumption that I understand both sides of the
> argument.  I do
> not and so far I have been unable to obtain a good explination of the real
> issues for the reasons previously mentioned.
> What I do not like is  the use of litigation by ITW or by others
> to stifle
> discussion.
> Mark  Gilligan
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> >Mark,
> Why not summarize both sides of the argument for us as most of us are only
> able to read what the Anchor manufacturers argument has been. ACI has not,
> as I am able to tell, been willing to post information discussion the
> changes (which the Anchor companies have posted in PDF format) and their
> rationalization for the sudden change.
> As I mentioned, I have separated the actions from the importance of the
> changes made. Why not fill the professional community in on the arguments
> from both sides? I know this means taking the time to write it up, but
> perhaps you can provide an unbiased description of the issues of
> both sides
> of the argument and allow the professional community to decide if the
> manner
> in which it was handled was justified.
> I would appreciate it!
> Dennis<