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Why more Sheathing than in Zone 4???????
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>, <light_framing(--nospam--at)structuralist.net>
- Subject: Why more Sheathing than in Zone 4???????
- From: "Dennis Wish" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net>
- Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 15:32:49 -0700
I have just made my
third cross-country drive from Southern California to Chicago since 1999. In my
travels I look at construction in other areas and only in the highest risk area
of Southern California do I find plywood or OSB sheathing used miserly. It is
not uncommon to find entire homes - from the very basic to the most advanced,
completely sheathed in Plywood or OSB including areas in low risk zones such as
Oklahoma, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri (west of the New Madrid Fault). So
why are we in Southern California playing with fire. We have the highest average
cost for a residential home and with a 15% deductible for Earthquake coverage,
we will have the highest out-of-pocket expense to repair of all areas.
My cousin, who was a
former Architect in California, moved to Charleston South Carolina and was on
his way home when Isabel hit the coast of Georgia with the perimeter meeting
South Carolina. When I contacted him, I found that his apartment, located on a
small island west of Charleston, was constructed of masonry block and suffered
no damage or property loss. I was also pleased at the performance of homes in
area hardest hit which learned from Hurricane Andrew the importance of hurricane
My question still
remains - why, in an area of highest risk for earthquakes, do we allow homes to
be designed so flexibly - either by engineering controlled by the desire of the
developer or by conventional construction means - when we know that these homes
- the majority of residential structures built and occupied by those who can
least afford the deductible - will suffer more damage than we have seen in
Northridge or Loma Prieta if all things are equal and more if the San Andreas
moves with greater force.
I don't see the
codes helping, except to drive developers to lower standards.
I heard the words
from Gandhi" First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, next they become
angered by you and finally change is brought about". Is the professional
community still ignoring me or am I only a laughing stock?
Dennis S. Wish,