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

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On Sep 2, 2004, at 4:23 PM, Neil Moore wrote:

I don't put much faith in the probability criteria's but do recognize that the code is the minimum with some sort of a factor of safety.
I'm with you. Probability is fine when you have a large population and an accurate history. So many dozen fatigue specimens under an identical test conditions will give you a good notion of how many identical specimens will break with the same test. It won't tell you what will happen to any individual specimen and as you make inferences about different specimens and different tests, the accuracy starts dropping off. And with as diverse a population and service as exists with engineering structures, the whole notion of probability starts breaking down. Everything's different with different construction and different service environments.

If I were standing beside a ruptured pressure vessel I wouldn't have the guts to tell a client that I'd looked after his interests and the probability of that particular vessel destroying his refinery was less than 1% with a confidence level of 99%. I'd rather take the stand and sing 'Lydia the Tattooed Lady' in a Groucho suit than explain that to a jury.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)    | this distance" (last words of Gen.
...................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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