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Re: Building Rating Idea

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Refugio:

Here's the text of an Earthquake warning on many of the buildings in San Luis Obispo, California. You can probably revise it to fit your situation:

"Earthquake Warning:

This is an unreinforced masonry building. You may not be safe inside or near unreinforced masonry buildings during an earthquake."

I have a few pictures of these plaques and used one as part of a local community college class photo assignment called "Fear".

Neil Moore, S.E.
neil moore and associates



At 06:17 AM 5/24/2005, refugio rochin wrote:
Well,
I am one to dream about possibilities, and perhaps I get carried away.

And I am now just thinking about the situation here on this island of Tortola.

No, it is not as strict here for construction practice as the states.
The gov't engineers
are not always highly trained engineers.

And even some private engineer's work is not sufficient.  Part of the problem
is the time crunch, and part of the problem is local construction practice.
Even buildings that are not that old, were designed by non-professionals, (say
a chemical engineer).

Of course our small company is beginning to make a difference and grow
as our engineers are qualified, and we make sure our buildings get built
the way they were designed.


But I was thinking about an idea, because it seems that some building
owners even want to go without the engineer's opinion.  I was designing
an addition to a building here, and we found that for what the owner wanted
to do - add two floors to the building, the foundations were highly stressed.

So we concluded we would only go one more floor.  But the owner still
is planning to build his two floors, without an external frame or any other
remedy except to go up the next floor.  And probably the building will
be built, because the gov't does not impose strict checks over plans.

My case is this, that if buildings are not engineered properly, then perhaps
there ought to be some sign on buildings, kind of like an A, B or C rating in a
restaurant in California, so when you walk in a building, you can see
the rating of the building design.  And perhaps know if you want to go
inside or not.

Now probably buildings are ok here to a degree, but this could be reflected in
the code standard used at the time.  Say, if the building was designed before
1960, versus to the IBC 2003.  In this way, people could also become educated
about buildings.  Much like they are about poor quality cleanliness in
a restaurant.

It could also reflect in the insurance package that a building owner
has for his/her
property.

Anyway, just a thought.

If anyone knows of such an implemented plan, please let me know.  Interested.

Regards,
Refugio Rochin

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