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RE: Building Standards, Aase ruling

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It is easy to point the finger at building departments for not doing a
thorough enough plan check or not doing thorough enough inspections or
holding residential structures to lower standards. If local designers
screamed that they want more review and inspections and that they want
residential structures to be held to the same standards as commercial
structures then it might happen.  

I have said it before the bureaucrats have no sway over the politicians but
the developers-contractors do.  It is the "golden rule".  If engineers don't
like local enforcement they can write letters to politicians and newspapers
and such, then be on local code amendment committees, and testify at
building board meetings, ect...  This might win the accolade of peers but it
will not get much buisness from the local chapter of AHBA.

When engineers want to get business from residential contractors it seems to
be a good marketing tool to publicly bash building departments at every
possible oppurtunity. If you don't believe it, try it sometime.


Scott M Haan  P.E.
Plan Review Engineer
Building Safety Division http://www.muni.org/building, 
Development Services Department,
Municipality of Anchorage
phone: 907-343-8183   fax: 907-249-7399
mailto:haansm(--nospam--at)ci.anchorage.ak.us

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Paul Feather [SMTP:pfeather(--nospam--at)san.rr.com]
> Sent:	Wednesday, April 04, 2001 11:11 AM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject:	Re: Building Standards, Aase ruling
> 
> I can't speak for all, but we use the same approach and standards on all
> projects, commercial or custom residential.  My residential experience is
> all fairly high end (6k to 20k sq. ft.), I have never worked on tracts,
> townhomes, etc.
> 
> I think one part of your perception that commercial structures are held to
> a
> higher standard is that in the code (UBC) they are.  There are all kinds
> of
> exceptions and reduced requirements for residential R-3 construction, in
> virtually every section of the code, not to mention the conventional
> construction provisions for wood framed structures (i.e. residential).
> 
> It is not that we the engineering community hold these structures to a
> lower
> standard, but the governing bodies hold these structures to a lower
> standard.  I can see where there would be a tremendous amount of
> resistance
> by the builders and developers of large residential projects towards any
> attempt by the design professional to ignore the exceptions and require
> higher standards.  The requests for substitutions and changes would either
> bury you, or the cost would be so much higher that the GC / Developer
> might
> find paying someone else to design to the permissible lower standards is
> more cost effective and remove you from the project.
> 
> The same thing occurs on commercial structures in limited instances.  Roof
> truss substitutions come to mind.  I have even had P/T parking structures
> where a precast outfit will bid the project including re-engineering the
> whole thing with the claim that the overall cost will be competitive.  The
> fact that you may, as I do, prefer cast in place P/T to precast as a
> superior building system will have very little effect on the final outcome
> if indeed the precast outfit provides lower numbers.
> 
> As a side note, I am frequently astonished at the absurd approach to cost
> analysis that many GC's use.  The cost will compare element to element,
> but
> completely neglect additional labor and components that may be required by
> other trades as a result of a cost savings on this one...  The educated
> contractor that looks at overall systems costs is not the rule in my
> experience, particularly in lowrise industrial / commercial development.
> 
> As my college professor used to say, the principle of conservation of
> grief
> is as immutable as conservation of energy.
> 
> Paul Feather
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dan Goodrich" <dang(--nospam--at)karren.com>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2001 9:18 AM
> Subject: Re: Aase ruling
> 
> 
> > This brings up an interesting point.  There is a perception
> > out there that commercial projects should be built to a
> > higher standard than residential.  Shouldn't they be the
> > same?  I've designed homes that are significantly larger
> > than some of the commercial projects I've worked on.
> > I realize that there will be differences based on
> > occupancy and other related matters.
> >
> > Are we as an engineering community holding commercial
> > jobs to a higher standard than homes?  One example I
> > can think of would be the amount of reinforcing required
> > in foundation walls.
> >
> > Dan Goodrich, P.E.
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Neil Moore" <nmoore(--nospam--at)innercite.com>
> > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 8:33 PM
> > Subject: RE: Aase ruling
> >
> >
> > > Jason and Dennis:
> > >
> > > On the other hand,  I had a take-over project with 46 townhouses.  23
> > > uphill and 23 downhill, basically two plans, each alike.  The
> foundation,
> > > framing and exterior stucco completed.  Although every one of the
> plans
> > > were the same, it appeared to be a different crew on each one.
> > >
> > > Took us three years to complete the project, including putting a
> > structural
> > > designer on the site to straightened out all of the glitches.  The
> > > superintendent,  who was from a central California mountain area,
> accussed
> > > us of "commercially" engineering the buildings.  Of course the project
> was
> > > a 1000 feet from the San Andreas fault and was on a high bluff facing
> the
> > > ocean.
> > >
> > > The sherriff came in one day and took him off the project.  This was
> > > sometime after he had threatened one of my engineers.
> > >
> > > Neil Moore,  S.E.
> > > neil moore and associates
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> 
>