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Seismic Design of a Garden Trellis

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On a recent residential project I worked on, the architect designed some trellises/pergolas thingies for a porch. They are not attached to the house and are free standing. The architect provided footings and thrubolt connections at the top and bottom. The plan checker wants seismic calculations done to get a permit.

 

Is common in California? I find it odd that someone can build a house without engineering (if they follow the prescriptive code) but not garden trellis to let plants grow over and create shade.

 

Thanks,

-gerard