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Re: AISC II (the facts)

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"Best" is of course a subjective term.  But generally, I would think that a steel frame vs. a masonry bearing system would be a fairly easy choice.  Of course, you have to factor in the fact that I've worked for steel fabricators for pushing 30 years, and all of that on the east coast where seismic considerations have been ignored for most of that time.
 
As for my question being obtuse, maybe it is; but I still think an engineer should have some justification for making a recommendation other than whether or not the design info is provided free of charge.
 
As to what's absurd - having to design to outdated codes because the political entities won't listen to the experts or will listen to their biggest contributors, that's absurd!  Having to pay big $$$ to be allowed to practice your profession in some states, that's absurd!  But I'll stop this list before I say something obtuse.
 
Scott ~(:-)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: AISC II (the facts)

It is possible that the "best" solution is beyond my capabilities or resources.  For instance, I would have to defer to someone with more expertise if the structure were to be a concrete dome.  Or a pre-engineered metal building.  Similarly, if the structural steel design information is beyond my reach, or just too hard for me to reach, or within reach but illegal, what am I to do?  The best system for me to design has to be one that is legal for me to design.
 
Besides, you must know that the "best system for the application" has a "preference" component, too.  If I merely "prefer" having a steel frame even though masonry walls were available for bearing, there's nothing sinister about that, it's judgment.  How do you determine what the "best" structural system is?  Cheapest?
 
What do you think is better, structural steel lintels or masonry lintels?  There are design guides for each; some may be illegal to use in a spreadsheet, others not.  I've specified both.  How do you think I should decide next time?
 
Maybe it's just me, but I consider your question to be obtuse.  I'm not upset at AISC or anyone else.  I'm trying to point out an absurdity.  For me, this discussion is not about what is best; but rather, what is practical.  Is the most practical course to leave all structural steel design work to those that possess the latest issue of proprietary information?
 
I own steel manuals (ASD) 1931 (1st ed), 1963 (6th ed), 1970 (7th ed), 1980 (8th ed), 1989 (9th ed), LRFD 1986 (1st ed), Vol II Connections ASD/LRFD 1992 (1st ed) and AISC Iron and Steel Beams 1873 to 1952, 1981 (8th printing).  If I decide not to purchase the next manual(s) when the rest of you do, thus you receive a "free" CD with section properties (but I don't get one), does the information I already paid for become proprietary?  Give me a break.  It is absurd.  And that's what I'm trying to point out . . . when do I get to quit paying for something I've had since 1963?  And when you get your "free" CD with section properties, will it only be useful to you until the next iteration is forthcoming . . . and so forth?
 
When my child puts rocks up his nose, I consider that absurd; although in this day and age, it might be illegal for me to tell him.
 
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John -
 
I feel compelled to ask, why were you recommending steel framing?  I would have thought it was because it was the best system for the application.  Just because you're now upset at the AISC, is masonry suddenly a better engineering solution to the problem at hand.
 
Just a thought.
 
Scott