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Re: California School construction requirements

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Good thing is that contractors are as creative as they can be. But bad thing is that some (rather many) contractors do such absurd things in the fields that engineers could never imagine in their design offices. For 1-story residential houses, it may not be critical, but for important structures like schools, it is worth having these DSA provisions which makes it likely that inspectors will catch contractor's mistakes.

 Mark Gilligan <MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)> wrote:

I have seen a number of buildings wher there wasn't a problem with caving
of footings so why should we have a one size fits all mandatory
requirement? Also remember that many of these footings are not working
very hard and thus, there would be no problem is there was some
intermitant minor caving. Each case should be evaluated seperately.

It is important that we continue to evaluate the effectiveness of each of
the special DSA and OSHPD provisions. Some questions we should ask are:
--Does the provision contribute to increased safety or is the improved
performance the result of other factors.
--Are the benefits worth the cost. Failure to ask this question can lead
to a waste of resources and greater loss of life due to other causes.

If we cannot ask these questions then we are engaged in an activity other
than engineering, possibly politics or voodoo.

Mark Gilligan

Thor- DSA requirements used to be that footings either needed to be formed
or additional 1 inch cover of concrete added if poured neat to account for
caving of the side walls of the footing. If you don't recognize the caving
issue, it sounds like you don't do much field observation of foundation
work. You have a curious view on establishing a criteria for the loading a
footing is supposed to take, then ignoring it. Would not an interior stake
infringe on cover requirements? But to the real world, normally when
contractors form a footing, they place the form stakes outside the forms so
they can remove them easily. If so placed, they do not infringe on the
footing. As a School Board Member and a Structural Engineer, I applaud the
way DSA manages the oversight of school building construction in California
to keep our school children safe. You can see the results by looking at the
injury and fatality statistics for school children vs. the general public
in California earthquakes to see they are doing an excellent job. Regards,
Bill Cain, S.E. Albany CA

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