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RE: IBC vs NFPA5000 (Was IBC 1617.6.2...)

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Each system has is own set of strengths and weaknesses.  Even with
different organizations' consensus process, there are some differences,
which again leads to different strengths and weaknesses.  For example,
there are some significant differences between ASCE's consensus process
and ACI's consensus process.  ASCE has balance requirements that at least
5% (if I recall correctly) of the committee's membership must be building
officials, while ACI has not similar requirement.  ASCE committee
membership is open to any ASCE member who asks to join (basically
regardless of qualifications).  While this is ideally a good thing, it
creates some problems sometimes on getting proposed changes approved,
since consenus processes require that a certain percentage of members
voted (not even considering voting yes vs no).  Since some members of ASCE
committees join to "keep informed" or to be involved with their speciality
(i.e. snow loading with in ASCE 7), they may abstain on a lot of votes
which can create a problem on getting a "legal" vote.  ACI voting
membership on committees is basically controlled by the committee chair,
which means that the committee can be made up of active individuals.  The
obvious downside is that some people can get "locked" out of the voting
process.  For most ACI committees, any ACI member can become an associate
member which means that they can be involved in the process, but just
cannot vote.

I agree that the idea of a "democratic" process of how the IBC (and UBC,
BOCA, and SBC) operates is a nice idea.  It ensures that anyone who is
interested can be involved.  The consensus process does have some similar
"openness".  For example, a consesus document must be opened to public
comment prior to achieving "final" approval.  At this time, any interested
party can make comments or propose changes.  While this method may not
always be as "good" as the public hearings that the IBC process involves,
it still creates the ability for someone interested to be involved.

Basically, the point is that each method has it's strengths and
weaknesses.  From my experience, the consensus process has the problem
sometime of having too much influence given to the academics which can
result in some complex and difficult to understand code provisions.  On
the otherhand, the hearing process (a.k.a. IBC) can be influenced too
heavily but one isolated group who can then twist some provision to their
finacial advantage.

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Wed, 13 Feb 2002, Yousefi, Ben wrote:

> Very good explanation of the process. My biggest beef with the so called
> "consensus" process is that this is actually a selected group of private
> sector or higher education professionals that pretty much decide on
> everything. For example, public officials, who are the ones actually
> enforcing these provisions, are virtually shut out of these processes. Until
> we make a change and include equal representation from all sectors on these
> consensus process groups, and ensure that everyone's voice is heard, the
> current democratic process of code hearings is a much preferred medium in my
> opinion.
>
> Ben Yousefi, SE
> San Jose, CA
>
> 	-----Original Message-----
> 	From:	Scott Maxwell [SMTP:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> 	Sent:	Tuesday, February 12, 2002 12:34 PM
> 	To:	seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> 	Subject:	RE: IBC vs NFPA5000   (Was IBC 1617.6.2...)
>
> 	The intent for both codes (IBC and NFPA 5000) is to adopt by
> reference
> 	various material/load codes.  That is, both codes intent to adopt by
> 	reference ASCE 7, ACI 318, ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402 (the MSJC), AISC
> specs,
> 	NDS, and others with little or no modifications.
>
> 	The primary difference is how the two codes go about adopting the
> 	referenced codes.  NFPA's plan is to basically adopt the reference
> codes
> 	with no modifications, except some very minor things to get the
> whole
> 	thing speaking the same language.  As I understand it, they will NOT
> have
> 	public hearings were any single person/entity can propose a change
> to one
> 	of the referenced codes.  The NFPA relies heavily on the consensus
> process
> 	that are built into the various material/load codes.
>
> 	The IBC, on the other hand, does hold public hearing where an
> 	individual/entity can propose and get accepted a suggested change
> that may
> 	not have a consensus view.  The IBC, like the NFPA 5000, will
> basically
> 	adopt the consensus based material/load codes, but there is more
> 	opportunity for significant modifications that result from the
> hearings.
> 	The potential downside is that someone with an agenda can get a code
> 	modifcation through that may not be something that the industry
> considers
> 	to be a good consensus solution.  In theory, however, the fact that
> the
> 	hearings are public should be a good thing.
>
> 	BTW, the hearings for the 2003 IBC will occuring shortly.  It
> appears that
> 	the heering will be in mid April in Pittsburgh, PA according to the
> ICBO
> 	website.
>
> 	HTH,
>
> 	Scott
> 	Ypsilanti, MI
>
>
> 	
>
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