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Standard of Care: Investigation of Exist

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Bill,

Whatever "Standard of Care" that you come up with, the opposing side will and 
can produce a dozen engineers that say that they don't do it that way.  Stick 
with the [engineering] facts, not a point of law.

As, I believe it was Charles Greenlaw that stated on this list some time ago, 
"standard of care" is a decision that the jury is instructed to determine, 
not an expert witness.

There are many things with respect to an existing building that may or may 
not indicate that further detailed investigation or testing should be 
performed, the first and foremost is visible signs of distress, secondly, 
what was the original occupancy (use) and current occupancy of the building, 
and thirdly, what alterations or modifications were made in the interim.

The IBC is a recent code, approximately 2 years old.  If the alteration, 
addition, or change in occupancy was made under another code, then that code 
should be referenced, not the IBC.  Otherwise, I would expect that you are 
now designing in accordance with the 2015 code, whatever name it will have.

BTW, Section 3409 of the IBC is titled, "Compliance ALTERNATIVES," 
[emphasis added] indicating that it is not required unless specifically 
stated.  

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

Bill Polhemus wrote:

. > IBC Section 3409.4 states "The owner shall have a structural analysis of 
. > the existing building made to determine adequacy of structural systems 
. > for the proposed alteration, addition or change of occupancy. The 
. > existing building shall be capable of supporting the minimum load 
. > requirements of Chapter 16."

. > The Code goes on to state that a report detailing the results is to be
. > submitted to the Building Official, who will then "determine whether the
. > existing building" including the alteration or addition, is in compliance.

. > The questions I have in this regard are as follows:

. > 1. What is the minimum standard of care that should be observed in 
. > gathering the data used to perform the afforementioned structural 
. > analysis? Put another way, what level of data gathering should be 
. > performed? Destructive investigation where necessary, including core 
. > testing of concrete or coupon testing of steel, among other things?

. > Or is it sufficient to make certain reasonable, perhaps conservative,
. > assumptions?

. > 2. How should this data be gathered? Has anyone performed this kind of 
. > thing on a low-rise commercial building of venerable age--say fifty years 
. > or more? How did you do it? Did you employ, say, a surveyor? Or a 
. > material test company?

. > Does anyone have any suggestions as to who I might contact to gather this
. > level of data?

. > Thanks in advance for your input.

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