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Re: building codes

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In a message dated 5/14/2004 9:28:10 AM Eastern Standard Time, cleech(--nospam--at)nyc.rr.com writes:
You are expected to follow a duty of care, commensurate with your knowledge, expertise and other's expectations of you.  If you are an expert in deep beams and you followed an old erroneous ACI code because your backward state told you to, you would be still be negligent because you new (or even should have known) otherwise.
By and large, most litigations, or instances where structural engineers have found themselves in trouble aren't because of a design error that had to do with a code change, or even something that was overlooked.
 
It would take a lot of digging for someone to find that the wrong phi factor had been used, or that a load combination hadn't been considered.  This might come up during peer review,  but probably not after the building has already been built.  When this happens,  it usually gets written up as an article in the New Yorker. 
 
Most litigations stem from what are often considered serviceability issues - i.e. was the proper corrosion protection specified,  was the w/cm ratio of the concrete appropriate for the service environment,  etc. 
 
Cracking is another big issue, particularly in post-tensioned structures.  By and large, however, these issues are related to the "structural detailing",  i.e. how the reinforcement is laid out.  This is really not covered in any code or code reference.
 
To my mind, building codes and code-related issues are an excellent topic of conversation.  It does not seem to be a subject that is covered in any college program.
 
Gail Kelley