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Re: FWD: In Re: "The ICC and NFPA's Tug Of War"

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Bill,

Not that this will really easy your concerns...

I believe that eventually the structural portions of NFPA 5000 and IBC
will be almost identical.  My understanding is that NFPA will adopt by
reference all the appropriate standards, such as ASCE 7, AISC LRFD specs,
AISC Seismic Provisions, ACI 318, NDS, MSJC (masonry code), etc.  I also
understand that this same thought has been discussed for the IBC code.  I
believe the primary purpose for NFPA's new code is that they felt that the
IBC code was weak in many fire protection issues (someone please correct
me if I am wrong).

Now that is not to say that some enterprising individual can't get some
"modifications" (or as I affectionately refer to them as "tweaks") of
reference standards included in the IBC, and maybe even the NFPA 5000,
code.  This could be minimized/prevented is pressure was placed on the
major players in the process to form aggreements not to "subvert" the
process of other standard organization's document development.  For
example, the possibility exists that someone could "forum" shop to get a
provision in a code by adding a modification to a material standard that
got rejected by that material standard's document process (i.e. say a
proposal was rejected in the AISC LRFD spec process but then someone
proposes it as a modification to the referenced spec to be included in the
IBC).  I don't really know if this happens or not, but...

I thought that I would point out one slight inaccuracy in your
letter...more than likely you don't have the state of the art versions of
the various material standards...or I should say, you are not really
required to have them.  The state of the art for AISC LRFD is the new 3rd
edition specs, the state of the art for ACI 318 is the 1999 version, and
the state of the art for MSJC (masonry code) is the 1999 version.  None of
these versions are referenced/used in most of the currently adopted codes
(unless the jurisdiction has adopted the IBC 2000, which does reference
the 1999 versions of ACI 318 and the MSJC).  Thus, you are more than
likely at one step short of "state of the art". <grin>

Scott


On Thu, 19 Apr 2001, Bill Polhemus wrote:

> Not knowing if this letter to the editor of Structural Engineer magazine
> (regarding their article on the apparent competing building codes--IBC and
> NFPA 5000--with which we are apparently going to have to deal) will be
> published, I thought I'd post it here for perusal and comment:
> 
> ----------------BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE-------------------------------
> I just read with interest the referenced article.
> 
> As an owner of a one-man structural engineering practice, I'd like to give a
> little input and perspective about an implication of this controversy that
> is likely NOT uppermost in the minds of the movers and shakers of the
> code-writing bodies.
> 
> I live and practice near Houston. Texas does not have a state-wide building
> code. The City of Houston uses UBC, but most other outlying cities and
> unincorporated areas use SBC. However, one of the larger suburbs, Pasadena,
> uses NBC!
> 
> So I have to have the appropriate volumes of EACH of these building codes
> available in my library, and of course must update them as subsequent
> revisions are issued and adopted. This is NOT an inconsiderable expense for
> a firm like mine, where every dime has to be squeezed for what it's worth.
> 
> Add to that the necessity of keeping up-to-date versions of the applicablle
> ACI, AISC, AISI, AF&PA, TMS and other design standards, and it is quite easy
> for me to spend thousands of dollars just in keeping "state of the art" with
> my design reference works each year.
> 
> I have not yet spent the money on the IBC, as it isn't even on the horizon
> yet in my locality, but I'm sure it will be eventually. But it would have
> been nice to think that I was only going to have to worry about purchasing a
> single building code update from time to time, but with the announcement of
> NFPA 5000, it looks as though there will have to be at least TWO. Again,
> this is not an inconsiderable expense for my small firm, and I would venture
> to guess that there are many, many others in my predicament.
> 
> As a sidebar, with the promise of NFPA's offering, I may well see the time
> when I have to juggle FIVE building codes (as some of the smaller
> jurisdictions won't bother to adopt the later codes) just to make sure I
> have the standard needed for a particular project! What a mass of confusion!
> Sincerely,
> 
> William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas
> Phone 281-492-2251
> Fax 281-492-8203
> 
> ----------------END FORWARDED MESSAGE-------------------------------
> 
> 
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