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RE: Residential Design Discussions

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Gerard,

ICBO can only fix it with an errata if the "mistake" was a typo on their
part.  If it is a mistake that was truly by the code development process
(i.e. SEAOC Seismology created the provision but did not fully think
through it and "accidently" or intentionally approved the provision as is,
or it was added by way of a code hearing as it is currently in the code,
etc), then they CANNOT correct it by publishing it as an errata.  In
otherwords, they can only correct it with an errata if the provision was
approved (by whatever process) as having the "<=1" included in the
provision and was simple left out in the process of laying out or printing
the publication.  Otherwise this would be like the Bush adminstration
publishing an errata for the IRS Tax code that says that the current tax
rates are a typo and they all should be 2% for everyone...in otherwords,
it would be circumventing the process (such as approval by Congress is
this example and the code development committees and code hears for the
Rho stuff).

Now, if the ICBO were to have some code hearing for an update to the UBC
(not sure how likely) or for a new edition of the UBC (not likely at all
since they are now on the IBC bandwagon), then this change could be
presented at the code hearing and then could potentially be approved by
the ICBO membership as an official change.  But the likelihood of that is
very same since there are not supposed to be any new UBC editions and I
don't believe ICBO intends any updates of the UBC since the IBC is
available now (that _IS_ the new edition of the UBC in their eyes).  Thus,
that leaves you in the hands of your state government, which can either
make this change or adopt another code instead of the UBC, such as the IBC
or NFPA 5000.  So, if you don't like the law (adoption of the 1997 UBC
based California Building Code) that the state government
approved/created, then you have to work to change that law just as you
would for any other law passed by the state government (taxes, criminal
laws, etc) by way of either the court system or the legislative system.
Neither ICBO or SEAOC establish the laws in California, so they can change
them, only influence them like any other individual or group.

And as James pointed out, the state of California can do as they wish for
building code.  There is nothing that says the state has to only have
building codes that are more strict than the UBC...that is a choice that
is entirely up to the state.  So, if the state of California decided that
they did not want to have an state building code, they can certainly do so
if the wanted, which would be similar to what Texas has done in the past
(just as Bill Polhumus...he has commented on Texas several times in the
past).  You are correct (at least as I understand it) that in theory local
jurisdictions within California (such as your local city) cannot make
changes to the California Building Code (which is based upon the UBC) that
make if less "strict".  Thus, I don't think it is possible to have your
local city or such issue a revision with the "<=1" included.  I could be
wrong on this for this particular case since it seems that the City of LA
has done (or is trying to do) this and is suggesting that others do it.

As far as having it get changed by the newer code committees for future
editions of model building codes, you are correct...there may not be a
concensus that a change needs to be made.  I honestly don't know.  This
cann be a problem because it can be difficult to make changes in a
concensus process so things that are fairly obviously wrong (I say fairly
because it is always possible that someone with disagree) become difficult
to correct (I could use some similar examples with politics, but won't
because that will start a whole other heated debate and also because the
Congress doesn't work on a concensus process anyway).  But in the same
token, because the concensus process makes it difficult to make changes,
it becomes more difficult to make a fairly obvious bad or wrong provision
to begin with.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI

 On Thu, 26 Sep 2002, Gerard Madden, PE wrote:

> Scott,
>
> We have had umpteenth errata to the UBC since it came out. Why can't
> ICBO treat this as an errata and give us the 10/lw <=1 at the minimum?
> They can strike it from the code next time through (wishful thinking).
>
> They could do this but they won't. ICBO is still in existence and make
> money selling this code. Many of the same people who developed the
> seismic portions of UBC are/did become a part of the other committees
> producing the other codes. We don't even know if they agree there is a
> problem (as a consensus), so why should we expect it to ever get fixed?
>
> The California Building Code can only be more stringent that the UBC,
> not less. Therefore, they cannot change the RHO provisions until UBC
> does it first.
>
> -gerard
> Santa Clara, CA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 1:43 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Residential Design Discussions
>
> Gerard,
>
> I would suggest that the "lean" be placed toward them being unable to
> remove it.  There are two reasons that I think/suggestion this.
>
> One deals with the current legal code in force in California, which is
> the
> 1997 UBC code.  SEAOC does not have the power actually change that code,
> only the state government does.  SEAOC could certainly attempt to get
> the
> state legislature or commission (or who ever in the state officially
> handles the California Building Code) to make the change, but they are
> just as powerless to actually make the change in the currently
> enforcable
> code as you are.  What they can do is make changes (or try to...see the
> second reason) to future editions of the model building codes that then
> the state government may or may not adopt.  Having said all that, it is
> certainly possible that they are not bringing the full pressure to bear
> on
> the state government to make the changes that they could actually bring
> to
> bear.  If so, then by all means pile on.
>
> The second reason is that while the SEAOC Seismiology committee is still
> influential and somewaht powerful in the seismic design world, they are
> no
> longer the center of the seismic design universe.  In the past, the
> SEAOC
> Blue Book would become the seismic provisions in the UBC.  This is no
> longer true.  The seismic provisions of the IBC and NFPA 5000 will come
> by
> way of NEHRP and ASCE 7's Seismic Task group (as well as AISC for steel
> provisions, ACI for concrete provisions, and ACI/ASCE/TMS for masonry
> provisions.  While many of the members of the SEAOC seismology committee
> are involved in both NEHRP and ASCE 7, SEAOC no longer controls the code
> development process of the seismic design provisions.  Thus, there are
> bound to be things that SEAOC Seismology may want that does not make it
> into the model building codes.
>
> My point was that while SEAOC may be able to do more (or even do
> something), the more likely avenue to get something changed is to
> realize
> that the state government of California really holds the cards when it
> comes to the Rho issue.
>
> HTH,
>
> Scott
> Ypsilanti, MI
>
>
> On Thu, 26 Sep 2002, Gerard Madden, PE wrote:
>
> > Scott,
> >
> > I have the meeting minutes from Seismology committee meetings, they
> have
> > definitely looked at it and know it needs changing, but they are
> either
> > Unable or unwilling to REMOVE it from the code, let alone cap
> 10/lw<=1.
> > Some want significant change, some want no change. Unfortunately, I
> > don't think they post the meeting minutes anymore for us to see. It
> has
> > been 5 years that this has been in the code, and 2 years since Gary
> > Searer's paper was delivered.
> >
> > I think they are unwilling to touch it because those that created it
> > didn't think it through enough as Gary Searer proved. Too much
> emphasis
> > is given to RHO when determining seismic forces. The IBC has made
> slight
> > improvements to the RHO, but here in CA, we can't use it yet nor does
> > there seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel saying we will ever.
> >
> > Rho should not have ever been introduced into the code, let alone have
> > the potential to raise design forced by 50% because I have a short
> > shearwall yet I could have a mass irregularity or soft story and just
> do
> > a dynamic analysis and not be subject to the penalty.
> >
> > It is an idea with definite merit and I'm sure developed with the best
> > intentions, but I am sure it was a mistake to put it in the 97 UBC.
> >
> > -gerard
> > Santa Clara, CA
> >
> >
> >
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