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RE: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discu

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Roger,
I had the pleasure, as you know, to visit your fine city of Tucson. Tell
me this. Why is it that when you look at new construction in Arizona and
New Mexico, wood frame single family residences and multi-residential
(or commercial) structures are fully sheathed. However, when you cross
the Colorado River into California, homes are constructed with as little
plywood on the exterior as the code or prescriptive methods will allow.
In my opinion, the quality of constructin in what was formerly Seismic
zone 2 (Tucson) is far superior to what we find in California - bar
none.

Dennis 

P.S.: This is from personal observation from two weeks of car travel
through both states taking specific interest in Phoenix area, Tucson,
Albuquerque, Northern Arizona, Show Low and all of the smaller towns
back down to Tucson, Tombstone and back up to Scottsdale. This did not
include Yuma.

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 10:59 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discu


Permit some comments from an outsider.

Here in Arizona, an area of infrequent large earthquakes (formerly
called 
Zone 2), we don't get into the high powered seismic design that you
people on 
the west coast do, but I can, and do, appreciate what California
Structural 
Engineers have contributed to seismic design.

As each earthquake struck, California Structural Engineers have refined
their 
requirements for structural design to the extent that loss of life in
the 
recent destructive earthquakes in California could be termed "minimal" 
compared to loss of life in similar earthquakes in other parts of the
world.  
It should also be recognized that only a few of the historical
California 
earthquakes could be considered "large", i.e., greater than 7.0.  The
input 
of California Structural Engineers, and the acceptance into the UBC by
ICBO 
is *the* reason that loss of life has been kept so low.

Now, we have IBC, IRC, NEHRP, BSSC, etc., with controlling votes by
people 
who have never been in an earthquake, and who have probably never
designed 
for an earthquake, determining what the seismic design policies for the 
entire U.S. should be --- the one size fits all concept of the IBC/IRC.

Based on someone's comment on this list, it seems the consensus process 
requires a unanimous vote, thus someone who hasn't done any seismic
design, 
has never seen seismic damage, and thinks that a proposal is too
stringent, 
can cause important provisions to not be in the code.

When provisions of the IBC/NEHRP have been incorporated into new
structures 
in earthquake country, Mother Nature is going to strike again, proving
who is 
in control.  Then it will be a process of reinventing the wheel all over

again, whereas California Structural Engineers had already invented the 
"wheel" and have been refining it over the past 70 or so years.

As I have complained before, the changeover to the IBC/IRC has been too
much, 
too fast, changing to a common code format in one code cycle, and then
to the 
IBC two code cycles later.  Nobody really knows what is in the IBC and
what 
it really means as it is a hodge-podge of the 3 former model codes.  The
IRC 
is a joke in itself as it is merely a rewrite of the BOCA "One and Two
Family 
Dwelling Code" which does not correlate at all with the IBC, except that
IBC 
Section 101.2 says:

"Detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family
dwellings 
(townhouses) not more than three stories high with separate means of
egress 
and their accessory structures ***shall*** comply with the International

Residential Code." [emphasis added]  

NO option is permitted!  Residences under the IBC are *required* to be 
designed under the IRC!  This is conventional construction run amok!
The IRC 
is a "Referenced Standard" and is automatically adopted when the IBC is 
adopted.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

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