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

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Mr. Hirsch,
I am not sure what you are referring to, but since I started the thread
on Residential Design, let me say that it was the actions of the SEAOC
Seismology Committee that included residential design in the provisions
of the 1997 UBC at the last minute that were out of hand. It created
great harm to practicing engineers and to potential homeowners. 
When volunteer representatives of a professional organization that is a
non-profit corporation in the state fails to act in the best interest of
the members of that organization by simply dismissing the advice of
those within the organization who have practical knowledge and
experience that the members of the seismology committee lacked at the
time, then they deserve to be identified and called on the carpet. The
alternative is to file a law suit against the organization for violating
the rights of the shareholders who are the paid members of the
organization by not acting in their best interest.

As a Fellow in SEAOC, you should be one of the first to understand from
the age of the organization that it is unethical for members
representing professional practices that have the financial resources to
take control of the organization and use it for their personal gain. I
believe that this is what has happened. I further believe that SEAOC is
not acting in the best interest of those members who represent that
portion of the profession whose livelihood depends on designing
residential construction, but more so on reducing the potential for
damage to buildings when it is clearly known that there are two
diametrically opposed sections of the building code that create
financial opportunity for some at the expense of those who purchase the
homes and for which there is no disclosure laws to educate the public.
SEAOC is clearly deficient in their regard for the largest number of
structures created in this country - residential buildings.

Furthermore, politics has played an important role in eliminating
multi-residential structures from participation in the rules that we are
arguing for residential construction. However, this is, in my
professional opinion, the result of the lobby representing owners of
multi-residential (apartment) buildings who have placed pressure years
ago to remove their structures from the state requirement for disclosure
of potential hazards due to inadequate anchorage to the foundation or
cripple wall strength. Only single family dwellings are listed in this
disclosure laws. Members of SEAOC (myself included) helped to write
these sections of code (UCBC Chapter 5) and the state of California
dismissed the potential hazard to multi-residential units that are of
equal or greater risk.

When members are "dismissed" and the information they provide any one
committee is equally dismissed without consideration, then the committee
is not acting in a responsible manner. There are two methods in my
opinion which are effective when the Apathy of SEAOC members prevent
them from publicly speaking out. That is to either suggest that members
do not renew their dues to the organization and that the names of those
who served on the Seismology Committee and voted to dismissed the issues
raised by Gary Searer, myself and others in regard to residential
construction be laid on the table for others to consider.

These individuals have, in my opinion, not acted in good faith, nor have
the acted responsibility for those members they represent.

There is currently a draft pending submittal to the SEAOC Seismology
from what is called the Light-Frame Sub-Committee. I have discussed this
committee with one member who submitted his opinions many months ago.
There was never a committee meeting held and a draft which takes Chapter
16 and removes sections that will "streamline" the design process was
created. This draft was not done with all members participating and the
last information I received (yesterday) the Seismology committee was
split with Ron Hamburger and Bob Bachman opposing the draft.

The purpose of this draft was to create a position statement for SEAOC -
it was not intended to revise the 97 UBC but to also help circumvent the
potential NFPA drafts that are expected to become codified against the
discretion of the California engineers. While I agree on this, I
disagree with the manner in which the Light-frame draft has been
developed. 

The alternative would be for SEAOC to turn its devotion to the state of
California and re-write the Chapter 16 provisions and those for
light-frame construction with consideration on prescriptive methods used
in high risk regions of California and offer the state to Adopt this as
a state code independent of the modifications made to the 97 Uniform
Building Code. There is nothing to prevent California from writing its
own code to protect the people who purchase and build homes here.

When Rick Drake starts to design residences for a living then I might
pay closer attention to his comments.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

-----Original Message-----
From: EphHirsch(--nospam--at)aol.com [mailto:EphHirsch(--nospam--at)aol.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 10:00 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)


Richard Drake:

This is a belated thank you and "well said."  The personal attacks (and
you 
know who you are who've done it and to whom) were (and still are)
getting 
completely out of hand and smack of irrelevance and petulance.  You did
a 
worthwhile service by pointing out the true situation which is/was
beyond the 
control of those who some wish it to be otherwise.

Ephraim G. Hirsch, FSEAOC

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