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Re: don't mess with Texas

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> So if you don't have a building code, and in some cases you do not need a
> permit, why would they get engineering?

It's simple: mostly they don't.

Of course, we're talking about rural areas here.  Residential "grade"
buildings do not require engineering in lots of states, even in urban areas.
Or we're talking about small one-story retail shops or strip malls beside
the highway, which still have to comply with Federal rules, like ADA, OSHA,
etc.  Otherwise, they get sued when someone falls down a handicap ramp that
is too steep or is missing a handrail.

The big box stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart use engineers as a general
rule because they do NOT want the publicity fiasco of a building falling
down.  Larger industrial facilities use engineers to comply with OSHA and
because it is *STUPID* to try to save a few thousand dollars worth of steel
by putting several million dollars worth of equipment at risk.

Unfortunately, it'll take a disaster to change the law in states like Texas,
Missouri, and Mississippi.  Just look at Chicago -- if an engineering group
had proposed re-vamping the laws dealing with design and inspection of
"porches" (or decks, or balconies, or whatever) a month ago they would have
been laughed out of town.  The contractors and developers would have
screamed about the cost, the city would have run away from all the
additional government paperwork, and nothing would have happened.

Now, after 13 dead and 50+ injured, the city is looking at "fixing" the laws
that have been "broken" for decades.  I would also bet that if a building
collapsed in rural Texas killing several people a statewide building code
would be quickly adopted.

It's sad that people have to die before the Powers-That-Be remember that
lives are worth more than money.

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, L.L.C.
816-444-9655 (FAX)

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