Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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

Re: Is Everyone Present And Accounted For?----[Choices]

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

I think you confuse risk to property with risk to life. Weld failures in steel frame buildings in the 1994 Northridge earthquake killed no one IIRC. Accepting an economic level of property damage is what insurance companies are there to do. In the case where the insurance companies are unwilling or unable to insure, we effectively self insure via our municipality, county, province, state government, and yes the Federal government. That's a calculated financial risk.

The moment you have an event that exceeds design, you can expect that it
might fail.

Crying about it after the fact is pointless.

The risk to life is very much more a political issue and not an engineering issue. Politics is the means by which we as a society decide what level of risk to human life that we should design to. In that sense, it is entirely useful to "cry about it after the fact". The process isn't perfect, not ideal, but it's the process we have.

Incidentally, a 'guess we'll live with the risk' approach to allowing stucco and gypsum board shear walls in the building code directly contributed to the biggest loss of life in the Northridge Earthquake. From an engineering standpoint, it could be readily demonstrated that such shear walls supporting two levels, with few redundant paths, could not endure the cyclical loads imposed in a seismic event. But both you and I know that code writing is very much a process like making sausage... ugly at times, and a compromise... a very political process.

My understanding is that after the Northridge EQ, the realization dawned
that the COLA has steel-framed buildings that likely have damaged welds.
The estimates of cost to provide inspection and repair ran into the
multiple billions, a staggering amount.

You know, the "MSM" will blame the person who works in the Oval Office.
You seem to infer that Bush is "unique" in that respect?

So if The Big One ever strikes, and you have multiple building failures
directly attributable to that, I guess we'll see if the gamble was worth it.

Of course, the MSM will just blame Bush.

(P.S. You seem to infer that N.O. is somehow "unique" in this respect.
If you think I'm stupid enough to fall for that one, you're sadly mistaken).

If (and when) the Big One strikes, we will know whether the changes made
requiring moment frames to comply with FEMA 356 were a good investment
by all the building owners who have been required to do so.

I'll admit I'm no expert on levee systems, but I do know that compartmentalization is very effective in ships and sailing vessels. What incremental cost would there have been to develop such areas in N.O. compared to the hundreds of billions of damage that have occurred now? What about the thousands of lives of our poorest citizens
that have been lost?

Best regards,

Thomas Honles, SE, PE

******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* ***
*   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: ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********