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I will second Thomas' statements regarding the blue book being a "must read" for anyone who is involved in seismic design.  The blue book provisions and commentary have traditionally been a state of the art discourse on seismic design.  Many of the leading concepts and methodologies (base isolation, passive energy dissipation, performance based design....) are discussed in detail and developed in subsequent editions long before adoption or publication in the model codes. 
I have always found the blue book to be a testament to the high standards and professionalism of the volunteers and committee members of the Structural Engineers Association of California, this publication alone is worth the continued support and membership.
I must admit that though I have always maintained my membership in SEAOC, I have not always given the time and commitment I should.  With all the controversy and recent discourse regarding the seismology committee and SEAOC (rho factors etc..), I for one would like to take a moment and simply say "Thank You" to the members who do contribute so much to our profession. 
I do not know the intended future of the blue book with the passing of the UBC and the changes in the code process.  I would be interested to hear from anyone more involved in the current organization if they would share their views on whether the blue book will continue to be published and the direction the publication may take.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2002 7:28 AM


Part of the answer here is about timing and the procedures for writing the Uniform Building Code (UBC).  It starts (use to but no longer with the IBC) with the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) producing their seismic "Recommended Requirements" for inclusion in Chapter 16.  ICBO, which compiles and produces the UBC, reviews these recommendations and historically would accept most but not all of the them.  As example, the seismic ductility factor "R" was originally split into two components.  This part did not make it in the final UBC however probably about 99 percent of everything else did.  The proposed code language "Recommended Requirements" are then followed by a very extensive commentary.  For anyone doing seismic design per the UBC this commentary is a real must read.  The commentary is then followed by what I would call special topics such as a detail review and history of the near source factor, "R" factors, dynamic analysis, lessons learned from the Northridge earthquake, performance-based design, etc., etc.

Hope this helps,

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting


12/09/2002 06:31 PM
Please respond to seaint

        To:        seaint(--nospam--at)

In a message dated 12/9/2002 2:50:08 PM Pacific Standard Time, THunt(--nospam--at) writes:

The commentary to this section from the SEAOC "Recommended Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary C108.2.2 reads "In some geographical regions,

I don't design steel and I don't live in California, so maybe I am missing something, but how can you have "Recommended Requirements"?  Aren't things usually either recommendations OR requirements?

Gail S. Kelley, P.E.