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So What About This SEI Thing?[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
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- Subject: So What About This SEI Thing?
- From: Bill Polhemus <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
- Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2004 11:36:07 -0600
Just got a couple of publications from ASCE: SEI/ASCE 30-00 "Guideline for Condition Assessment of the Building Envelope," and SEI/ASCE 11-99 "Guideline for Structural Condition Assessment of Existing Buildings." This isn't intended to be a review of those publications as I have but perused them briefly as yet. However, I have to admit a tentative approval of the fact that SEI/ASCE seems to actually be doing something to advance the art of structural engineering practice. Of course, I have been long aware of ASCE 7, but that involved "taking over" the earlier ANSI standard, and I wasn't really aware how much SEI had put into even the advancements contained in that publication. I pay only cursory attention to seismic issues being on the third coast, but the wind engineering has been appreciated. But the wind engineering has been ongoing long before SEI was in existence. However, the "condition assessment" publications look to have been initiated by SEI/ASCE, and that is impressive. We are sorely in need of structural engineering standards treating important topics beyond the scope of the typical model building code (particularly now when the codes invariably reference outside standards--and on the topic of existing structures the model codes are all but silent; load testing of existing structures is pretty much the extent of it. These guidelines represent the consensus of the profession on these topics, at least on the face of it (okay, I realize they actually represent the consensus of those who took the time to serve on the committees, or to render comments during the "public" review phase), and they will carry great weight for those of us who have to write convincing reports. And now that I am aware of their existence I will be sure to participate in future when it is time to review the next editions. All this by way of saying that I have not been a big fan of ASCE. I consider that organization to cater to the public works/beltway bandit crowd, and their legislative positions ("we gotta get ours") have mostly been in diametric opposition to my own political philosophy ("Founding Fathers Still Spinning In Graves; Film at Eleven!") But given the lack of a strident voice in our own profession, maybe I would be hasty in dismissing SEI outright. I have continued to pay the ASCE dues over the years, and gotten little (to my way of thinking) in return other than discounted publications. I don't attend the local meetings because I simply can't develop sufficient interest in the discussion of the latest dredging efforts in the Houston ship channel or a lecture entitled "The Sanitary Sewer Outfall and You". And I don't know that our local ASCE branch/chapter (can't ever remember the nomenclature) has an active structural component since a few years ago when I was nominally involved with the local committee. But I can't say that, OTOH, I am all that enthralled with our local SEA, with respect. They seem to be geared toward those who are "cogs in the machine" of the larger structural design firms, and don't know what the heck to do with a small-timer like myself. Again, NOT a criticism of SEA; they have the right to cater to the majority, but it doesn't end up doing much for me that I can see. So maybe I ought to give SEI/ASCE another look. I'm paying the dues and I've bought the books, so that's some contribution. But I would like to do more time-wise. I've always had a difficult time committing time to efforts that in the end don't accomplish all that much (again, WITH RESPECT; this is my personal opinion only and is not meant to denigrate the efforts of those who DO find working in these organizations to be worthwhile). Any comments regarding SEI/ASCE are welcome. ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* *** * Read list FAQ at: http://www.seaint.org/list_FAQ.asp* * This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers * Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To * subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to: http://www.seaint.org ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********
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