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Re: Tales of Terror #1: Architects doing engineering

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I would agree with Dennis' proportional application,
but mainly cause that's what I've been doing for 20+ years.
I'm curious though what the 1/3-1/3-1/3 people calculate for a
55' wide building with grid line bays of 10' & 45' ?
My real curiosity (and hence post) is that I just can't figure
out the meaning behind     IMHO   &   :o)
----- Original Message -----
From: "chuck utzman" <chuckuc(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: Tales of Terror #1: Architects doing engineering

IMHO the dumb architect has it right  & you persist in doing  it wrong :o)
Every test I'm aware of shows the distribution to be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. (If 
it doesn't  change the wall construction, I sometimes use 1/3, 1/2, 1/3
just to keep plan checkers like you at bay.)

At a SEOC convention in S.F. a few years back, researchers from Texas
IIRC presented their test results from a simple unblocked pitched roof
building.  The uniform load at the top plate distributed itself  1/3,
1/2, 1/3.  Likewise for every reasonably proportioned floor platform.

Chuck Utzman, P.E.

Dennis Wish wrote:

> I started to write this in order to vent my frustration as a contract
> (sub-contract) plan checker who has found that more architects are
> designing the structural elements of high-end custom homes. This is
> upsetting – I’m actually making money as the more errors I find, the
> more time I spend and the more I make hourly. I don’t need to design
> their homes, I only need to plan check them.
> Don’t misunderstand, I know a great many architects who became
> engineers and they went through the hard work to prove they were
> capable. But what I am seeing are architects who think they remember
> their statics and strength of materials from forty years ago and
> attempt to apply it today in order to save the cost of hiring an
> engineer. Three or four plan check cycles later, they tend to find
> engineers to help them through the things they don’t understand.
> Just one example – I can’t resist this one. The designer (I am
> hesitant to use the title architect) calculates the base shear of a
> fairly rectangular building with three lines of resistance. Rather
> than waste the time to design the distribution of the two diaphragms
> between the three grid lines as simply supported beams, the architect
> applies 1/3 of the total lateral load to each line of shear. Have I
> missed something? I’ve been used to figuring the reactions which
> almost always ends up with 50% of the shear in the middle wall and 25%
> at each end. He would have been better off eliminating the center
> shearwall had it not been for a re-entrant corner and don’t get me
> started on that one.

> What has this world come to when BORPELS (California) has no control
> over architects practicing engineering and the office of the
> Department of Consumer Affairs that licenses Architects will do
> nothing until the damage occurs and the Architect is considered
> potentially negligent (I’ve checked – trust me).

> Politics has reached every segment of our society – I mention
> certification of Framers and find the BIA (Building Industry
> Association) putting me on their black list.

> So, what’s your take on all of this? Should I just retire to
> Southeastern Arizona and become a hermit (with my wife family and dogs)?

> Dennis

>       Dennis S. Wish, PE
> California Professional Engineer
> Structural Engineering Consultant
dennis.wish(--nospam--at) <mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)>
> <>

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