I do not do much seismic design, but I would go with the code.
I deal in residential a lot and to my knowledge residences are not
scrutinized as close as commercial buildings and therefore they tend to get
away with designs that are not adequate in certain areas. With time, this
becomes the "norm". I hear all the time about how they do not do something
on residential. The truth appears to be, "no one has made us do it" and
therefore we don't. Also, everytime I have quizzed one of the contractors
about how they "never did this before and have done a building JUST like
this", I find out "Just Like" means was 10' foot shorter , was in another
code jurisdiction, about 25 years ago etc etc etc. and was block rather than
wood. Amazing how many "Identical buildings" they have built.
As far as the posting about using spirals versus hoops, I question
contractors on their comments about my designs being difficult to build.
Generally I find it is their personnel and abilities that creates the
comments, not my design. I did a dock facility years ago with some
underwater welding required. One Contractor bidding it complained, another
one loved the design. One had no underwater welders and the other had 6 that
were sitting around with no work. The Contractor that got the job complained
to the Client about how hard some things were and stated he could do better.
He stated this was the worst design he had ever seen. I gave him a red pen
in a Client meeting and told him to mark any change he wanted and I would
insure it would structurally work. But anything he changed that affected the
"use of the dock'", maintenance etc that was not structural in nature would
be between him and the Client. He did not change one thing. I called him a
"crybaby contractor" when he would not change anything. The entire meeting
was for that single purpose, for him to "tell me how it should be done".
Shortest meeting I have ever been in. I would assume anyone can make an
improvement on "the worst design they had ever seen". I also told him that
all engineers make every design a little hard to build to insure legitimate
Contractors have limited competition. If we made things too easy, the Girl
Scouts would quit selling cookies to raise money and start building Dock
facilities. He laughed at that comment at least.
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