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RE: Static vs. Simplified Static design

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Dennis ?

Me? Statesman? You?ve got to be kidding! I guess I?m going to have to read
my drafts more carefully to avoid giving that impression in the future :o).

While I certainly don?t have your experience with committees, the ?fear? of
investing valuable time and ending up where you did has kept me from
participating (except when I was young and naïve). However, I have recently
begun to reconsider my position and I have to say, Richard Hess has had a
lot to do with that. Personally, his term as President was inspiring for me
because, as I said, I thought his President?s message was so well written
and thought provoking in an otherwise not-so-inspiring publication (filled
with mostly advertising). To further that along, Richard and I have had
several conversations (both by e-mail and in person) regarding committee
work. In those discussions, I found the he, at least occasionally, shared or
understood my exasperations of the code not addressing smaller projects
properly. Inspired, I seriously considered participating on a committee. I
even found one (QA) where I thought some good work still needs to be done
and where I thought I could contribute. In an exchange of e-mails, I shared
with Richard what I was interested in doing as well as what I thought my
limitations (both time and skill) were and what my expectations were of such
a participation.

Richard?s remark yesterday has probably changed my interest. Maybe I just
didn?t know him well enough to see all the ?spots?. Maybe he was having a
bad day. Maybe I hit a nerve. I don?t know. What made matters worse (for me)
is that I called Richard to let him know that I didn?t appreciate his
comment, was offended and "suggested" that he was welcome to say whatever he
wanted to about me but he should discuss it privately with me first. His
response was more defensive than remorseful, instead taking the opportunity
to cite the number of committees he?s on and that he thought my ?method? of
participation was ineffective. If Richard?s actions are a reflection of the
association, then I?m not surprised more people don?t participate.

What's ironic, is that if anyone took Richard's advice to attend the Code
Committee meeting on August 20th to discuss "Static vs. Simplified Static
Design", more than likely attendees would be disappointed because (I
believe) the Code Committee defers seismic issues to the Seismology
Committee. Now, talk about a waste of time!

Richard has a point, to some degree, about ?participating? to effect change.
We, here on the listserv, can type all we want till we?re blue in the face
and numb at the fingertips, but, unless someone who is responsible for the
actual changing of the text of the code reads the list, agrees with the
issues, can muster enough support, then and only then will the code change.
In other words, as it stands now, it is difficult to ?champion? a cause
which translates to change just by posting messages on the seaint listserv
which is not only archaic but unfortunate. The ?physically present? criteria
exclude many who could contribute but do not due to proximity to meeting
locations, time restrictions as well as language and other cultural issues.
Why the format can?t change is beyond me. IMO, that?s where ?change? should
begin. However you read this, don?t get the impression that I agree with
you. I would never admit to that :o).

I also don?t want my comments to be construed that I think that the existing
committee members are wasting their time. On the contrary, I applaud them
for their contributions. I can?t believe Bob Lyons has a ?life?, but he, as
well as many others, has done great things for the structural engineering
community, and not just in California.

Of course, there is another reason for our discussions beyond "change".
Regardless of whether the code changes or not, it will never be ?perfect?
(whatever that is) and we will always be faced with ambiguities and
interpretations. Here, we have the opportunity to discuss these issues in a
forum that is unlike any other in the world. For the professionals who work
in small offices, this gives a valuable opportunity to get not only clarity
on issues we may not have encountered in the past but also get to hear new
perspectives on things we deal with daily. Since I am no longer in charge of
?changing the world?, the second purpose has more meaning to me. Maybe
Richard can?t/won?t distinguish between the two, I don?t know.

Regards,

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)	
ALLEN DESIGNS	
Consulting Structural Engineers	
http://www.AllenDesigns.com	
V (949) 248-8588	 ?	 F (949) 209-2509	

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Wish [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net] 
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 12:03 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Static vs. Simplified Static design

Bill,
You certainly are more of a statesman for political correctness. Dick
doesn't deserve it here and I for one, resigned as a member of SEAOSC two or
three years before he was president. I resigned when the "torch" for state
presidency was passed from John Tripp to Ron Hamburger and I was handed a
large envelop of e-mails, letters, transcripts of meetings and other
documents from engineers concerned with the effect of the 97 UBC provisions
for light-framing would have on a practical level and asked, by John Tripp
and Ron Hamburger, to "deal with it." One of the packages inside the
envelope was from Arnold Bookbinder, SE who took a great deal of time to
write his comments and opinions for consideration by the Code Committee and
send them to John Tripp where they remained - unopened.

I was also "goaded" into participating on the BSSC TS-7 sub-committee that
drafted the Residential Building Code. Once involved (I was an independent
member of the committee and did not represent a material association or
industry advocate) I suggested that we have a method of expressing or
communicating with each other as most of us could not make it to committee
meetings around the country. When I offered to create a private list for the
committee, Phil Line (AF&PA) summarily reprimanded me for setting up the
list and letting others on the committee know that it was available IF BSSC
would allow me to use it. I was told to shut it down and that if I had
comments on the code drafts I could write them to Phil and he would submit
them to the Committee members. Essentially, there was no dialog or means of
communication between members between committee meetings held at different
locations around the country.  I was also told that the BSSC planned to
provide a private List for their members and it would be coming soon (at a
circular file nearest you). Needless to say - it never did become a reality,
the drafts were like snowballs rolling downhill and picking up steam on
their own with the backing of the NAHB and BIA (and AF&PA). Now I don't
blame AF&PA at all, but it was a bad call by Phil Line who essentially
prevented open communication between professionals who did not have the
resources or time available to participate in a committee.

We go, now, to NCSEA's Advocacy Committee that Bill Polhemus, myself and a
few others wanted to participate in. NCSEA paid the price to set up a long
distance conference calling between members but as Bill found out - and
virtually most of those on the committee that represented small offices or
light-framing concerns, there was not enough time to prepare for and do the
amount of work on these sub-committees which met over conference calls once
every three months (or it might have been once a month). 

It seems to me, as I've said before, that there is an on-going dialog here
on the SEAINT List. If you can't get to the committee meetings, then the
committees should be revised to work closer with the online community.
Richard Hess has participated on this List for a number of years and I would
be very surprised if he was not already sorely aware of our concerns as to
the practicality of the code. He chooses not to do anything about it - and
in my opinion, this is the case.

My reasons for starting this thread was to obtain an opinion as my
observation of other engineers work shows that there is a lack of
understanding or a confusion as to what the intent of the code is. In my
opinion again, the intent of the code committee is to do whatever it pleases
and leave the potential liability to the practitioner. Can I state it any
clearer than this.

Spam Away!!

Dennis


Dennis S. Wish, PE


California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

http://www.structuralist.net

 


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Allen, S.E. [mailto:T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)cox.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 11:45 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Static vs. Simplified Static design

Richard;

First of all, as I've told you privately, I think you did a marvelous job as
SEAOSC President the past year. I can't recall the last time the President's
message has been so thought provoking and interesting reading.

However, I'm surprised and a little disappointed that you use this method
(and this forum) to somehow either goad me into committee participation or
to shut me up. You and I have had fairly extensive private correspondence
where I have expressed a willingness to serve on a committee. You've seen me
attend committee meetings, so I have to believe you realize my comments were
sincere. However, in my correspondence, I did express concern about my
ability to participate due to the fact that I'm a one man shop and the
committee meetings are an hour away (with good traffic). There were other
issues as well, but I'll leave those to our private dialog.

I find it offensive to receive a comment suggesting that, if I am not on a
committee, I'm not entitled to an opinion. Believe me, there's a lot of
hours in committees which do not result in any change. Participating does
not equate to change, particularly with regards to the seismic provisions.

My second paragraph, the one which was the subject of your response, was as
much as dark humor as much as an expression of frustration. All of our hands
are significantly tied with regards to change because not only are we are
stuck with an antiquated code but also future code of California is yet
unknown. Whether it goes NFPA or IBC, the seismic provisions are now
national and I'm skeptical that a handful of people sitting in the
conference room in Whittier are going to have much of an effect; certainly
not on the types of structures I design and certainly not if I'm the only
one (or one of the minority) who has a contrary opinion on the development
of the code.

I must say, to their credit, SEAOSC has taken the initiative to publish
position papers on various topics related to wood framed construction
(rigidity vs. flexible, cantilevered columns, etc.). Unfortunately, there
are many engineers who feel that these position papers won't be an adequate
defense against an aggressive "expert" witness.

So, if your comment was intended to inspire committee participation, you
might consider another strategy. If it was to stop me from "complaining"
(aka, expressing an opinion), you've failed there as well.

You never did respond to the first issue. Unless I'm mistaken, the Code
Committee does not address seismic issues. If I'm incorrect in that, please
let me know.

Regards,

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)	
ALLEN DESIGNS	
Consulting Structural Engineers	
http://www.AllenDesigns.com	
V (949) 248-8588	 .	 F (949) 209-2509	

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Hess [mailto:RLHess(--nospam--at)HessEng.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 9:43 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Static vs. Simplified Static design

Bill,
Quit dancing around the issue.  If you want to have an effect, participate.
If not, just complain that someone else is not doing it right.

Richard
 



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