Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Tall stud wall framing / IRC rant

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

To me, the issue was the original messages seemed to imply that the
building did not even bother to read the whole table (i.e. read the
footnotes).  I agree that the code is about communication...but that
"communication" does not happen if one does not read the whole item of
communication.  If you read only the headline of a news article and get
the wrong impression from just headline while reading the whole article
would give you a completely different impression, then it is not "poor" is the fact that you were lazy and did not read the
whole thing.  In this case, if the builder just looked at the table, but
did not read the footnotes, then I view that as the builder's problem not
a problem with the code.

Now, since then Jordan mentioned in a later message that even AFTER the
footnotes and limitations were pointed out to the builder, the builder
still did not understand why 2x6s where not permitted.  This could be
because the information in the table was unclear (although 25 psf snow
load seems pretty clear to me) or it could be due to the builder doing
good ol' "I've been doing it this way for XX number of years without a
problem" and just wanting to ignore the code.  That I dunno.

My original contention (and it stil is) is that ANYTHING and/or EVERYTHING
will be "misleading" if you only read part of it.  So, why are we blaming
the people who wrote it if some moron chooses to only read part of it?
Now, if in fact it was read completely and was confusing/easy to
misinterpret, then maybe it needs to be fixed.

But like what you kind of said, I am not aware of everything that
happened, so I am only in a position to comment on what has been mentioned
here.  And from that, it seemed like to me that the real problem was not
with the IRC table but rather a builder that had it in his/her head to use
2x6s (or less) and was grasping at anything that s/he could to justify it.


Adrian, MI

On Mon, 29 Aug 2005, Chris Campbell wrote:

> First off, I do not have a copy of the IRC in front of me to make any
> kind of relevant point towards to the main issue here...
> But I feel compelled to offer a general opinion.
> I've always assumed, much as another poster has remarked, that the IRC
> is designed with the intention of removing the design professional from
> the equation - in other words, the builder no longer needs an engineer
> to tell him that (as was quoted) that a "12' gable end wall can be
> framed with 2x6 studs @ 16" O.C." which is great.  I too don't want to
> be bothered with such mundane items when there's a backlog of work a
> couple of months thick with it's claws wrapped around my neck all day
> long.  However, if the intent is to provide a prescriptive design,
> shouldn't the limits be noted first and be noted CLEARLY?  It's about
> communication between people - not the kind of communication that ends
> with some silly nanny-nanny-goo-goo I told you so crap.  So what if the
> builder is wrong?  So what if the design professional is correct?  If
> it's poorly worded such as to cause poor interpretations, isn't that
> cause for concern?
> There is another issue that has been brought up here that has been
> passed over - if the builder doesn't want to listen to the opinions of
> the design professional (engineer) that they have hired then what was
> the point of [the engineer] doing that job?  Find another client, or
> just get on with the plan-stamping.  There's really no reason to accept
> the builder's incorrect interpretation when it should be that he's
> paying you for YOUR interpretation.
> To answer the question, "Do you expect to 'idiot-proof' everything?" I
> would have to answer NO.  Sure, there are plenty of (mostly residential)
> structures that could be prescriptively designed, but my thought, as an
> engineer, is that design is best left to the professionals.  I don't
> even begin to think to tell the builder how to operate their hammer and
> prefer that they not tell me how to use my code book.  In a sense, a
> fully engineered design is the way to go.  In fact, when I imagine the
> perfect simple structure that a prescriptive design would allow, I
> imagine spending about four hours creating calculations and drawings to
> construct it.  It wouldn't be terribly expensive on the part of the
> builder to include a design professional in the first place.
> Thanks.
> =================================
> Christopher S. Campbell
> O'Connor Freeman & Assoc., Inc.
> 916.441.5721     fax 916.441.5697
> "They're only mad at me because I'm right"
> =================================
> From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)>
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: Re: Tall stud wall framing / IRC rant
> OK.
> But do you realistically expect to "idiot-proof" everything?  What about
> a
> little personal responsibility?  Sounds like to me the foreman either
> did
> not bother to read the entire table or chose to ignore the parts that
> s/he
> did not like (like that never happens).
> And how specifically do you get "very close inspection" from his post?
> Does reading the all the information in the table (i.e. including the
> footnotes) count as "very close inspection" in your mind.  In my mind,
> it
> counts as doing the minimum that one should be doing.
> I would argue that these types of things are what happens when you try
> to
> "dumb" things down.  When you try to simplfy complex things, you will
> either have all kinds of limitations that people must be careful of
> (which
> is definitely what happens with prescriptive design) or you make the
> design OVERLY conservative allowing the elimination of some of the
> limitations.
> I will offer up a similar siutation.  I was once involved with an review
> of a masonry wall that collapsed during construction.
> The wall had been designed using the empirical design of the MSJC.  It
> was
> done by a licensed professional.  Now, it appeared that there were
> several
> problems...1) the wall was not design properly and 2) was not
> temporarily
> brace properly.  In this case the design is the relavent issue to this
> discussion as the empiricial chapter seemed to imply that wall design
> was
> permitted...until one read a little further and hit the limitations of
> empirical chapter.  The design violated at least two of the limitations
> (if I recall correctly, it was height to wall thickness ratio and
> requirements of grouting solid cores at locations where wall thicknesses
> changed).  Point is that the licensed professional did not read the
> chapter, but only the stuff that LOOKED relavent.
> So, it is misleading if the person using the information choses not to
> read all the information...for what ever reason?  Were the footnotes
> readable (i.e. was the font so small that it was virtually impossible to
> read...must like the "reading the fineprint" "jokes") otherwords,
> are
> you saying that there was some attempt by the IRC folks, whether
> intentional or not, to "hide" the limitations?  Or was just really a
> matter of someone not taking the time or effort to read it all?
> A lot of stuff is "misleading" if you only look at/read a little bit of
> it.
> Regards,
> Scott
> Adrian, MI
> ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
> *   Read list FAQ at:
> *
> *   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers
> *   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To
> *   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
> *
> *
> *
> *   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at) Remember, any email you
> *   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted
> *   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web
> *   site at:
> ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   Read list FAQ at:
*   This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers 
*   Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To 
*   subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to:
*   Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at) Remember, any email you 
*   send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted 
*   without your permission. Make sure you visit our web 
*   site at: 
******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********