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Re: eBay: Uniform Building Code, 1994 Volume 2 (UBC 1994)

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On Sep 22, 2004, at 8:39 AM, Scott Maxwell wrote:

But don't expect the private sector to do it for free.
And expect the private sector to make it easy on themselves if you let them load up the process. The ASME pressure vessel and piping codes are the model, as I've harped on for years. The ASME Codes are accepted standards worldwide, the best standards I've ever used, probably the best ever. The model is very clear--the ASME governs the actual production of the Code, the states and to an extent federal regulatory agencies enforce it and the industry including insurors, manufacturers and jurisdictional authorities provide the expertise. It's circular and the biases of all the players are balanced. Authorities want clear rules to enforce; OTOH manufacturers want flexibility and economy. Insurors want safety. The ASME manages the production using a Committee structure which provides a consensual standard which is also subject to public discussion and important input from other technical societies like ASTM and AWS and the National Board of Pressure Vessel Inspectors. It's not fast and sometimes it's not pretty, but it works very well. The closest thing I've seen for structural engineers is the AISC Code which is almost as good, but doesn't provide for mandatory inspection like the ASME Codes do.

The ASCE has the credibility and the clout to do the same thing for building safety and design as the ASME did for the pressure vessel business. One of the things they can do is to seek the involvement of insurers who have as big a stake in quality building design as anyone, and who would probably be very interested in rules for construction inspection. The ASME Code has a precedent there, too, since insurers like Hartford Steam Boiler and Commercial Union provide construction inspection for pressure vessels which is mandated in one form or another by the ASME Code.

But it won't happen by itself.

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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