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RE: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sprague, Harold O. [mailto:SpragueHO(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Monday, September 30, 2002 2:35 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
> Subject: RE: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)
> Charlie's take on this is accurate.  There were impediments to
> seismic code
> development in the old process.  Ron Hamburger and Bob Bachman were
> instrumental in moving seismic code development into the FEMA
> sponsored BSSC
> process.

I can't speak with any authority as to this, since I and my 12 year old
daughter both have about equal experience in the seismic engineering code
development process, but I have an observation.

It sounds as though those who are making these statements, including Harold,
Charlie and others, are actually talking around the point that Dennis is
trying to make.

I don't think Dennis has said that the entire code development process is
"corrupted," or that there is NO good work coming out of the various
committees who have input into that process.

If I read him correctly, I believe he is limiting his criticism strictly to
the provisions in the UBC 97 that seriously handicap light-frame wood
structural design, forcing design of uneconomical structures to a degree
that, if similarly handicapping provisions were insisted upon in structural
steel design, say, there would be a tremendous outcry from those who design
those structures as well. But because the light-frame wood design market is
not the "mainstream" of structural engineering design, the loophole remains
open and any attempts to close it are met with a stone wall.

If my observation is not accurate, please forgive me, but I have taken pains
to try to follow Dennis' rants over the past week. He is incensed that, in
order to design wood frame structures--especially shearwalls--reasonably and
economically, the designer has in essence to break the law, or face losing
work to those who ARE willing to break the law.

For someone like Dennis whose practice is firmly grounded in wood
residential and light-frame commercial work, that is an impossible position
to be in. But because those involved in seismic code development have other
areas of interest at heart, it's not being addressed.

I hope I've got that right, and I hope that we can all see through Dennis'
fit of pique to the underlying cause.

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