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RE: SEISMIC: Roof Supported Equipment

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-----Original Message-----
From: Sherman, William [mailto:ShermanWC(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 8:38 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: SEISMIC: Roof Supported Equipment

Make sure the weight of the equipment meets the 25% rule in 9.6.1 before
you take the "exception".

-----/Original Message-----

Now, remember that this is an existing building. As the IBC itself will
tell you, building codes are really for NEW construction.

This is NEW equipment that is replacing OLD equipment for the same
purpose, but it has considerably more weight. That's why I referenced
the "International Existing Building Code" (which actually isn't even
legally adopted here in Arkansas--unlike in Pennsylvania, the site of my
OTHER other job--but is a good resource to determine what is

Again, according to the IEBC this project would be considered "Level One
Alteration," and the Structural provisions of Section 507 of the IEBC
only address "vertical loads". The way I read this, I am actually not
required to consider seismic effects at all in this case.

Looking at it from a practical standpoint, I'm sure this was done to
"protect" building owners from the onus of having to do major structural
upgrades to existing buildings that were presumably designed and
constructed appropriately according to the building code in effect at
that time.

The more I consider it, the more I appreciate the effort that went into
the IEBC. You have a lot of engineers like me who are having to deal
with additional design considerations that we didn't have to before, and
it makes you wonder what to do in the event of building additions or
major renovations--which is mainly what you have when you're involved in
facilities projects like with my present client. Everything is
"upgrades" (in the present case this particular plant is "upgrading" to
handle bigger chickens! I suppose the seismic design considerations of
going from 4.5 lb. birds to those weighing 6.5 lbs. would keep us bogged
down for months, if we let it!)

NOTE: This doesn't mean I don't welcome all these instructive comments;
they will almost certainly be helpful in times to come. It just means
that we ought not to put the cart before the horse (or "the chicken
before the egg," surely a more apt metaphor).

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