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RE: 1976 Uniform Building Code - liability, insurance, etc.

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At 12:00 PM 9/2/2004 -0700, Neil wrote:
In California, the attorney's general office provided their AG Opinion No. 85-208:

"A registered engineer retained to investigate the integrity of a building who determines, based on structural deficiencies in violation of applicable building standards, that there is an imminent risk or serious injury to the occupants thereof, and who is advised by the owner that no disclosure or remedial action is intended and that such determinations are to remain confidential, has a duty to warn the identifiable occupants, or if not feasible, to notify the local building officials or other appropriate authority of such determinations."

Yes, but what is "imminent risk". What probabilistic criteria should I apply to the local environmental loads? 2% per year exceedence probability (ASCE 7 typical), 5%, 10%, 100% in 1 day, 7 days, a month, a year?

Most of the residences in my area built before 1980 don't meet the ASCE7 criteria, and I'm sure many built since then don't either, especially for seismic loads. We don't condemn buildings every code cycle simply because they don't comply, and yet the new codes are the "minimum" safe standards for structural purposes, as anything less is considered "unsafe" for occupancy.

I'm not attacking you, Neil, just pointing out that the wording is foolishly incomplete given the requirements that we need to show a number on paper that is either greater or less than 1.0 to determine the safety of a structure.


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