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RE: FW PE Vs.txt

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Hi Dennis

You wrote " As long as there are provisions for the prescriptive

As you know very rarely a building will fit the prescriptive requirement of
the conventional framing  construction. Now the code identifies cantilever
etc. as being the reason to declare the building as non conventional framing
hence requiring an engineer to design it.

All of our tracts homes are engineered. All our developers hire engineers
for all tract housing .

No one builds a square box with shear walls at 25  feet o.c. any more. So
almost all buildings are engineered buildings. 

The problem is that if we ask engineering questions as part of the plan
check the contractor complaints that he/she build the same building in some
other city and no one asked this question or required this structural
engineering item to be complied with. So as you said if vast number of
cities do not check plans for seismic design in a proper manor the first
city that tries to do that will be subject to resentment by the applicant.

On the second issue it seems that the areas that had a seismic occurrence in
the past usually have a fully cooperating administration. Engineers that
work in areas affected with Northridge or other earthquake have told me that
their council or board of supervisors fully supported them. This is because
the administration had a first hand knowledge of how destructive the
earthquake can be as it happened to their constituents.

I assume the city of Seattle or cities in India or Turkey or Greece will
support all efforts to enhance the quality of structural engineering without
any argument now that the possibility of serious seismic  damage has been
brought into their attention.

-----Original Message-----
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 3:11 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: FW PE Vs.txt

In your text you wrote the following. Please see my comments after:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sid Danandeh [mailto:sdanandeh(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 1:55 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
> Subject: FW PE Vs.txt
>If the building dept. chose to educate their city council regarding the
>seismic hazards the council will surely allocate the budget for an engineer
>plan check staff. Often times the pay difference  for non licensed plan
>checkers v the licensed one will not make a small dent in a cities general

This has been a problem in our city of La Quinta. Fortunately, while they
don't hire engineers to work the counters, they do hire an engineering
office to provide plan check on structural issues.
I have had similar discussions with the building official and others in the
department on the issue of hiring professionals in-house. In the Palm
Springs area from Palm Springs to Indio I can't think of one city that has
an engineer in-house.
We see the city council in our town as an adversary rather than supportive
of protecting the community. They support any developer who can generate
fees and revenue by building in the town. As long as there is a provision in
the code that allows, say prescriptive construction, they will not enforce a
hirer standard because they fear losing the developers revenue. This creates
a great deal of frustration for the building official who understands the
concerns for quality of construction but can do very little to enforce a
standard higher than what can be interpreted in the code.
The pressure works the other way - the developer will take his complaint to
the city council who will then pressure the building official to justify his
position or give in to the developer. They are, with one exception, not
professionals in the building industry - they are politicians whose job it
is to create growth and revenue from development in their city. The building
official in La Quinta has nowhere near the respect and power than Andy
Adelmann has in the City of Los Angeles. If they can't reach a solution
satisfying the developer, the city council is more likely to suggest
replacing the building official.