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Re: PE vs ICBO

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Walter,

I assume that when you say "need it to go to ICBO" you are refering to
obtaining an evaluations report (sometimes referred to as code report).

If so, then that is just a "formal" process of getting it approved by PEs
so to speak.  It kinds depends on what you mean/desire by "mainstream".
If it is a structural system that is not able to be rationally designed by
standard engineering principles and per standard structural material
standards (i.e. ACI 318, AISC spec, the NDS, the MSJC - masonry code),
then it will be subject to the "alternative materials" provisions in the
code.  This usually requires some independent testing that is then
reviewed by an independent engineer who prepares a report that then the
local building official can use to determine whether to accept or deny the
use of the "odd" structural system.  This can be done by various
methods...it just so happens that the various code orgs (ICBO, BOCA,
SBBCI...and now ICC) create formal processes to meet the "alternative
materials" provision...evalutaion reports.

Now, I would personally call products with evalution reports "mainstream"
even if those products are quite popular.  To me, to be mainstream, I
should be able to design it using rational and common engineering
methods/practices and readily available standards/codes.  The point behind
things with evalutaion reports is that there is generally not enough
publically available information to allow an engineer to make a retional
evaluation of the product but is instead relying on information from a
manufacturer to allow the engineer to complete the design.  Such products
can be proprietary products (where the manufacturer does not want to give
out the design details or information to allow rational engineering
design so that competition can "steal" it their idea) or just items that
don't have enough publically available research that would allow for
rational design methods to be developed.

So, if you want mainstream (at least as I consider it), then you/your
industry will need to fund research at universities and such so that
someone (researcher and/or code committees) would have enough performance
information to create a rational design method that can then be
"codified".  Until then, it becomes what you can convince a specific
code/building offical to allow, which is easier to do with an ICC
evaluation report.

HTH,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Fri, 9 Sep 2005, Walter DeVore wrote:

> If one has a building system utilizing precast concrete panels, and wants
> that system to become mainstream, can it be approved by PEs or need it go
> to ICBO. Thank you.
>
>  --
> Walter DeVore
> Owner/Engineer
> Cavity Wall Technology
> 480 Overlooked Way
> Idaho Springs, CO 80452
> 303 567 2415
> wdevore(--nospam--at)cavity-wall.com
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