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Re: Need suggestions on how to make fellow professionals design sensibly

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Well, I'll give you an example of  how we operate back home in Pakistan.

We have an established system there, whereby the BUILDING AUTHORITIES (called Development Authorities, like Karachi Development Authority) have been empowered to regulate all construction activities in the limits of the City.

All building plans are required to be made in line with the zonal bye-laws requirements of these Authorities & submitted to these Authorities for review & approval. No construction can be undertaken without these approvals. Violaters are fined as per the regulations.

And, for all G+3 or higher structures ( for coastal areas any structures), there is a mandatory regulation (in place since 1980)to design the structures for wind & Earth Quake forces. The Architects/Consulting Engineers are required to follow the following procedures while submitting their works to the Authorities for their review & approval:

         -  Submit Architectural drawings made in line with
            the explicit requirements of the zonal bye-laws.
         - obtain the approval for the same, and then:

         - submit  detailed Structural  shop Drawings  based on the
           approved Architectural Drawings for Approval.
         - Submit the Structural Design Calculations; and the calcula-
           tions should take care of the wind & Earth Quake forces.
         - submit Geotechnical investigation report for the Site, also.
         - Defend these Structural Works for the Authority Engineers
           if required.
         - Obtain the requisite Approval from the Authorities
         - And, then only proceed with the construction work.

If some construction is initiated without these approval, there is a heavy penalty for the Contractor & the Architect/Consulting Engineers as well. The penalties may include revoking of Practising license, as well.

Generally, first Architectural approval is required to be taken & then only Structural Works can be submitted to the Authorities. However, both these works can be submitted concurrently if the case is not complicated & straight forward.

I hope I was able to throw some light on 'the System" that you intend to propose to put in place inorder to ensure the buildings ARE designed to resist Earth Quake & Wind forces. Best regards,


P.S: I would like to add here, Karachi falls in Zone-2 & lies on the active fault called, THE ALLAHBAND FAULT. This fault runs through THE RANN OF KATCH & moves on to GUJRAT in India, probably. Some seismic activity in the RANN OF KATCH & GUJRAT had prompted the Engineering Community & The Authorities in Karachi Development Authority to pass an ordinance way back in 1979 enforcing upon all Architects/Consulting Engineers to design all G+3 or higher structures for Wind & Earth Quake forces & submit to the Authorities for their review & approval. Eversince we have not looked back.

From: "JAYANT LAKHLANI" <jayant_l(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: seaint(--nospam--at)
To: "seaint" <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Need suggestions on how to make fellow professionals design sensibly
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 13:51:47 +0530

Dear friends,

After recent earthquake in Gujarat, India, a new building regulations act has been imposed by government of Gujarat making it obligatory on part of a structural engineer to design all the structures taking in to consideration effects of earthquake and wind.

There are practicing structural engineers who are either not competent enough or do not want to carry out involved analysis required for lateral loads. These engineers have continued their practice on designing buildings just for gravity loadings.

Local authority approving building plans has no infrastructure to put a check on such engineers. We are a group of structural engineers who want to suggest a system to local authority to have some check on work being done by such engineers.

Any of you can kindly suggest the system which if adopted can make these structural engineers to design buildings considering all the loads coming on them? We wish that the suggested system should be simple enough that can be implemented easily by the local authority.



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