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Re: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Burch" <rburch(--nospam--at)conterra.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 2:51 PM
Subject: Re: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements


>
> I may be the only one here to say so, but I vote for anything that can
> be done to simplify the code. In my book, "simplify" is not a bad word.
> If anyone thinks that all the complexity in the code is producing safer
> or more economical structures, they are mistaken. To prove it, just pick
> one of the obscure requirements in the code, ask some older experienced
> engineer about it, and watch the blank look that you get. A lot of
> simplifying is being done out in the real world, where engineers are
> mainly interested in getting a safe job out, not in analyzing or
> designing something to extremes. It is a little counterintuitive, but I
> think that a simpler code would lead to more economical and safe
> structures, since engineers would actually know what was in the code and
> what it means, and would therefore be more likely to use it.
>
> I know that concrete will always be more difficult to design than steel
> just due to its nature. I think this is all the more reason to not make
> it any more difficult than is absolutely necessary.
>
> Simplify, simplify, simplify, every area that you can.  To answer your
> specific question, anything that can be done to make column design
> easier would be my first priority.
>

Well said Rick.  You are not alone, I too feel that the *KISS* rule should
be applied at every opportunity in life, things have a way of getting way
too complicated all by themselves, without our intentionally introducing
complexity!  When I graduated college 29 years ago, I received an award for
being the best student in my RC design class, that's the last concrete
design I have ever done.  It wasn't a conscious decision on my part, I just
started working for a company doing steel design, and have remained in that
arena ever since.  But, to underscore your point, I'll remind everyone of
the change, rediscovery, or whatever you want to call it that the AISC is
undergoing re the ASD Spec.  Thirteen years after pushing LRFD, they are
returning to support the ASD method of design again.  Why, well at least in
part because it is simpler and more intuitive (IMHO).

As an aside, it is interesting to me, having spent all my time in the steel
business, to hear that concrete is looking to make itself more appealing.
For years, all I've heard is that steel must be made easier because we were
losing to much of the market to concrete.  Go figure.

Scott A. Dunham, PE
Dunham Engineering Services
Dothan, AL
334-678-6948


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