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RE: Residential Design Discussions

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Gerard,

Unfortunately, the answer to your first question is "yes".

Let's suppose for the moment that the SEAOC Seismology committee passes
the change to include the "<=1" for Rho, then ICBO publishes an update to
the 1997 UBC code that includes that change.  The problem is that you
still need to the get the state to adopt that UBC update.  While it is
more likely that they would adopt that update, they did choose to adopt
the 2000 IBC which I believe corrects this problem.  The point is that
you could conceivably go through the whole process of "updating" the UBC
only to have the state of California not adopt the update at all.  If you
have an "update" to the UBC that only has this particular change in it,
then you have to make the same arguement as to why the change should be
made to a bunch of non-engineers that will likely thinkg that your are
speaking Greek.

As to your question about how could the legislators "... comprehend these
documents and vote intelligently...", that same question is true of many
things that legislators have, are, and will vote upon.  You have to face
the fact the in our system of government you will have people making
decisions on issues that may not know anything about that issue other than
what they have been told by staffers, political supporters, friends,
enemies, "experts", etc.  Heck, our top politcial office is a prime
example.  There have been and will be president's that are required to
make military decisions that have never served in the military and have no
real clue what a SEAL team or an F-16 are really capable of doing.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Fri, 27 Sep 2002, Gerard Madden, PE wrote:

> James,
>
> Are we to expect the members of legislature to understand a provision of
> the code that probably every engineer in California has had some
> difficulty interpreting? How could they possible comprehend these
> documents and vote intelligently. They do whatever is told to them by
> expert witnesses at a hearing or by what their campaign contributers
> "suggest".
>
> Perhaps others can correct me if the state is allowed to make portions
> of the building code model less stringent or removed entirely. (Without
> drafting up a new law).
>
> -gerard
> Santa Clara, CA
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lutz, James [mailto:JLUTZ(--nospam--at)earthtech.com]
> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 3:29 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Residential Design Discussions
>
> Seems to me the State of California is sovereign and can do whatever it
> likes in terms of modifications to its building code as long as it's ok
> with
> the legislature.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gerard Madden, PE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)attbi.com]
> Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 2:43 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Residential Design Discussions
>
>
> 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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