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Re: building codes

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----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2004 4:50 PM
Subject: RE: building codes

 
ACI 318 is standard practice.  ACI 318 is law when an expert witness proclaims it standard practice in open court.  ACI is therefore legal authority whether or not it is adopted as such by a jurisdiction.
Unless I'm misunderstanding the context of this thread, I do not agree with your statement.
 
ACI 318 is "law" when  it is adopted by a governing authority which is empowered to do so.
 
From the "INTRODUCTION" to ACI 318-02:
 
"As the name implies, 'Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-02)' is meant to be used as part of a legally adopted building code and as such must differ in form and substance from documents that provide detailed specifications, recommended practice, complete design procedures, or design aids.
 
"The code has no legal status unless it is adopted by the government bodies having the police power to regulate building design and construction. Where the code has not been adopted, it may serve as a reference to good practice even though it has no legal status."
 
Most typically, ACI 318 becomes "law" when a model building code such as IBC is adopted by a governing authority, which model building code incorporates ACI 318 by reference.
 
If it is NOT  part of the law as such, it may still "serve as a reference to good practice even though it has no legal status," and I have used it that way before in work being constructed here in Texas where, in unincorporated areas, there is no legal jurisdiction for a "government body" as described, nor any legally adopted building code.
 
We could get into a discussion of whether court rulings are actually "law" or not--it has become the conventional wisdom that this is so, even though the Founders of our Republic strictly warned against government by judicial fiat, but that's another topic that would probably just devolve into a flame war, so I'll leave off.