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Re: Special inspection and masonry allowables

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Jim Wilson wrote:

You are of course correct that sound engineering
judgment should never be sacrificed.  But the
apparently deliberate removal of a required reduction
factor from the codes without closing the gap on
structures requiring inspection vs. those that don't
leaves it open to interpretation.

This actually goes along with the ord. timber frame discussion quite well: The codes are still just a guideline. In many placed in the code, the substitution of rational engineering is acceptable. The codes give us a "fall-back" for areas in which we are not full-time super experts. No one person can possibly know all of the research for all of the structural systems in existence. The code allows us to do our job in these cases. Without it, we would be guessing (educated though those guesses might be). With no other information, I would guess that the removal was done to improve the market conditions for concrete masonry. When taking the reduction, masonry is less cost competitive for moderately stressed walls when compared to concrete. Goes along with reduced safety factors for concrete (I still use 1.7 and 1.4 thankyouverymuch). Everybody is looking for an edge.

I fully intend to continue using a 50% reduction for uninspected masonry work. That means every residential job that comes across my desk. I see too many masonry failures in my forensic work to do otherwise.

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