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RE: Texas Windstorm Construction Code/Guide

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Title: RE: Texas Windstorm Construction Code/Guide
-----Original Message-----
From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:22 PM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: RE: Texas Windstorm Construction Code/Guide


Read the small print at the bottom of the certification forms, and then run and hide.  No engineer in their right mind would ever sign one of these pieces of paper, especially Form WPI-2.    This one-page form basically requires you, as the engineer-of-record, to certify that you have performed construction inspection services any thereby certify that the structure was constructed in full compliance with either ASCE-7 or SBC.  Form WPI-2D provides similar certification for SITE-SPECIFIC design.  To emphasize the gravity of both forms, the small italic print at the bottom states that any incorrect or improper statements will result in a fine of up to $5000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years in the State Penitentiary.  Is your fee big enough to support your family for the next 5 years?

SEAoT has been actively "negotiating" this issue with the Texas Department of Insurance.  Our designated chief negotiator is Davy Beicker.  For more information, you can contact him in San Antonio at (210)824-2908 or davy(--nospam--at)  

H*ll, my fee ain't enough to pay the FINE.
Well, as this if "farm-out work," the other guy (who is an "appointed engineer") is fronting, and I'm just doin' the cypherin'. The "other guy" is, however, a much older engineer who has come out of retirement in recent years to earn a bit o' pin money. As is the case with many of these types, he has NO IDEA what the current codes say. Don't get me wrong, the guy probably has more practical knowledge in his pinky-finger than I have in my not-unsubstantial body!
But he is NOT up on the "latest stuff." For instance, he gestured at his copy of the AITC manual, ca. 1969, and said "you can borrow mine if you need it." I told him I have the latest copy of NDS, and I don't think he really understood what I was talking about.
But on second thought, he might have been closer to right than me, because isn't the 1973 SBC sort of the "building code du jour" in most of Texas outside of the cities?
This brings up a fascinating point--and might appear humorous to those who recollect my whining about new codes every time you turn around. But isn't it sort of incongruous to rely upon a model building code that is no longer published, and may be nearly impossible to obtain?
For instance, what if I use 1999 SBC, which I do have? Am I then out of compliance? How about if I use 1995 ASCE 7? The TDI Code references 1973 SBC and 1993 ASCE 7.
I realize this is all about insurability, but what are the important hoops through which I must jump, and what may be safely ignored?
I sure don't wanna be somebody's girlfriend up in Huntsville for five years!

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203