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IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)

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There have been several recent criticism (from the usual people) of the
efforts of the SEAOC Seismology Committee.  I believe this is unfair.

Yes, the SEAOC Seismology Committee initiated the  #$*&*  rho factor.  Yes,
it has some problems.  Yes they are aware of it.  The problem that they
have is after they provided input to what is now the 1997 UBC, they were
told that there were to be no supplements to it, because of the 2000 IBC.
>From that point on, the SEAOC Seismology Committee focused on "getting it
right" for the IBC.  Of course, they were assuming that the 2000 IBC would
be adopted by the State of California.  And who could anticipate that
politics that resulted in the creation of NFPA 5000.

The reality of today's Structural Codes is that the SEAOC Seismology
Committee cannot work directly with the ICBO for input to the UBC.  Those
days have been gone since 1997.  The process is now much more cumbersome,
and time consuming.  Structural Provisions in the 2003 IBC and the 2002
NFPA 5000 are based on the 2000 NEHRP Provisions.  SEAOC input must go
through the many BSSC Subcommittees that are responsible for the NEHRP
Provisions.  The SEAOC Seismology Committee (and former members) has either
members or corresponding members on most of these committees, positioned to
input and participate in the process.  SEAOC and its four regional entities
get 5 votes in the NEHRP Process, a significant factor in the process.

By the way, many of the changes to the California Building Code that have
been recently discussed have been initiated by the efforts of the SEAOC
Seismology Committee.

The SEAOC Seismology Committee members (present, past, and future)
volunteer their time to participate in the code writing process.  Did you
know that all of the members of the State Seismology Committee are members
of and appointed by their local SEAOC chapters?  did you know that they all
are designated as SEAOC representative to at least one industry committee,
such as AISC, ACI, NEHRP, etc.  That means that each member of the SEAOC
State Seismology Committee is committed to participate on at least 3
committees.  Unless you have volunteered for such an effort, you have no
idea how much of their personal time (not company time as some assume) is
spent reading research reports, reading code proposals, and discussing the
many different viewpoints on the issues.  Even though you don't agree with
everything they do, they do not deserve the personal attacks that some list
server participants direct at them.

Please continue to identify problems with the current codes as written.
Please continue to offer constructive suggestions on how to remedy the
situation.  This listserver is a valuable resource for identifying
improvements to all of the codes.  But please, provide your input without
personal attacks on your fellow Structural Engineers.


Rick Drake, SE
Fluor Daniel, Aliso Viejo, CA

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