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Re: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements

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Scott,

I recognize this, and have always been appreciative of the contributions of
ACI.  However, as you stated, without concrete construction ACI would have
no reason for existence.  The references I made to concrete trade
organizations is in response to your statement that "This concern has been
expressed to ACI by several of the major concrete trade associations."  The
trade organizations are concerned that the ACI code complexity is
contributing to their lack of market share.  My position is that I do not
agree this is fact, and that the trade associations should look at ways they
can support ACI and the engineering community directly to change this
perception. The entire question of ACI code complexity affecting the choice
of materials is a question regarding the promotion of concrete.

Paul Feather

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Maxwell" <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements


> Paul,
>
> Just a brief comment...
>
> I could be mistaken, but it appears that you might think that ACI is a
> trade organization.  If so, let be state that ACI is NOT a trade
> organization, nor is it a professional "society".  The best description is
> that ACI is a institute that produces technical information for the use of
> concrete.  ACI does not actively promote concrete, although it is obvious
> that if concrete were not used then we would be out of business.
>
> The point is that all of ACI's functions/activities runs off of member
> dues, publication sales, seminar fees, certification fees, etc.  The
> concrete industry does not directly fund the activities of ACI, like they
> would for a trade organization.
>
> HTH,
>
> Scott Maxwell
> Ypsilanti, MI
>
>
> On Sat, 9 Jun 2001, Paul Feather wrote:
>
> > A two part response:
> >
> > First, regarding code complexity.  I do not feel the ACI code is all
that
> > complex.  The only real comments I would add (or second) would be better
> > explanation of some of the variables, consistency of variables
throughout
> > the code, and better, clearer diagrams, and maybe a better index and
cross
> > referencing of related provisions.
> >
> > Second is regarding design in concrete.  I have read many of the
responses
> > with interest.  Yes, a concrete structure can be more complex to design,
but
> > I can honestly say this has never influenced our decision to utilize one
> > material over another.  The fact is that the choice of a structural
system
> > is dependent on too many other important variables, suitability of use,
span
> > and load, floor to floor heights, fire-rating, final finishes, geometry
and
> > lateral systems, economics, and so on.  Each material has definite
strengths
> > and weaknesses, the goal being to select the most appropriate system for
the
> > project.
> >
> > The inherent continuity of concrete systems adds complexity to the
design
> > process.  Any indeterminate system adds complexity to the design
process. Is
> > designing a flat plate or P/T flat plate considerably more complex than
> > properly designing a composite steel floor system? Not really. (IMHO)
Is
> > designing a steel moment frame with "special" detailing or an EBF frame
> > system much different than designing a concrete moment frame or shear
wall
> > system?  Not really.
> > For an engineer to have a preference, I think it really comes down to
> > familiarity and office resources.  A firm with extensive experience,
> > software, in-house spreadsheets, a good grasp of the detailing and
"best"
> > approach to designing in either material would not, in my opinion, base
> > material and systems selection on what was "easier".  The fact is some
firms
> > are more "productive" (i.e. more comfortable, more experience, better
> > equipped) designing in one material over another, and this may have an
> > impact on their first choice or recommendations of structural systems.
It
> > typically will influence the types of projects pursued.
> >
> > The trade associations should provide more support to building
familiarity
> > than questioning code complexity.  Provide the ACI design manuals
bundled
> > with the code with the costs offset by the producers.  ACI should look
at
> > the historic sales numbers, how many of the design manuals are you
actually
> > selling in comparison to the number of code books?  If the typical
office
> > only has the code, it is no wonder concrete seems infinitely more
complex.
> >
> > Otherwise, the choice of concrete is dependent on economics more than
any
> > other factor.  Construction timeline, costs, and associated project
costs
> > and project requirements will dictate the choice of materials.  After
all,
> > designing a composite steel floor system is more complex than designing
a
> > non-composite system, but we still do more composite than non-composite.
> >
> > Paul Feather
> > San Diego
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <Scott.Maxwell(--nospam--at)aci-int.org>
> > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 12:14 PM
> > Subject: ACI 318 - request for comments for improvements
> >
> >
> > Greetings:
> >
> > I would like to see if you would provide us with a little assistance,
which
> > ultimately could end up helping yourself.
> >
> > ACI has heard and received comments about the complexity of the ACI 318
> > concrete code.  Some surveys have suggested that more structural
engineers
> > prefer to design in steel than in concrete.  Some use these surveys to
> > conclude that the ACI 318 code is a major contributor to this
preference.
> > This concern has been expressed to ACI by several of the major concrete
> > trade associations.
> >
> > We would like to conduct a survey to attempt to determine what areas of
the
> > code need improvement or clarification (note, I hesitate to use the word
> > "simplification").  The hope is to get some feedback on how to improve
the
> > 318 code to make it more useful and user-friendly.
> >
> > We are currently at a loss, however, as to how approach this problem,
> > especially since the code itself is rather large, making it difficult to
> > focus in on particular problems.  We are hoping that you might be
willing
> > to offer some ideas.  For example, what areas of the ACI 318 code do you
> > find too complex or burdensome to use?  Basically, we are looking for
you
> > to share with us some of you experiences and thoughts on using this
code.
> > We hope that this will help us craft a more through survey that will
allow
> > us to determine how we can make the ACI 318 code a better, more
> > user-friendly document.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Scott
> >
> > _____________________________________________
> > Scott E. Maxwell, PE, SE
> > Structural Engineer
> >
> > ACI International (American Concrete Institute)
> > 38800 Country Club Drive
> > Farmington Hills, MI  48331
> >
> > T:  (248) 848-3829
> > F:  (248) 848-3720
> > E:  Scott.Maxwell(--nospam--at)aci-int.org
> >
> >
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