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Re: ground snow v. roof snow - which is it?

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Hey, you can appeal anything.  It just becomes a question of how much
hassle and time you want to expend.

If you want an official interpretation of a provision in a material
standard (i.e. ACI 318, NDS, AISC ASD or LRFD spec, MSJC/ACI 530, ASCE 7,
etc), you will have to contact the committee that prepares them.  Each
might handle such requests differently, but I believe that most handle
them similarly.  I can only say how ACI handles such things.  If you want
an official "code interpretation", then it must go through the full
committee consensus process (i.e. someone on the committee proposes the
draft interpretation, the committee debates it, it gets "word smithed" and
tweaked/modified, and goes through the full consensus voting process just
like a new provision).  This means that it can take at least 6 months
or so (about the bare minimum) but likely longer.  And there is a fee to
do it.

For model building codes, I believe that ICC has a process for requesting
an official interpretation.  I don't really know what it is, but I would
expect that there is a fee and it ain't likely to be quick.

And, of course, you can "fight it" (appeal or whatever you want to call
it) within the local jurisdiction.  You can try to make your case to the
code official that made the original interpretation and see if you can
change their mind with a logical arguement.  If that does not work, you
can try going to the "boss" (whether that is the head building official or
trying to get "political" and convince some political stiff that the
building official reports to).  Of course, if you go to extremes, you
always run the risk of pissing someone off, who then may go out of their
way to find legitimate ways to screw with you (kind of like not helping a
contractor fix a mistake that they made...if they get pissed about that
then the contractor may not help you with problems that you made or ramp
up costs to the client in other areas.  Note that I am not say that this
will happen, but that it could as there are people in every walk of
life/profession that take the "get even" approach to life.

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Thu, 22 Sep 2005, Gary Hodgson & Associates wrote:

> Scott,
> Do you not have a right to appeal?  In Ontario, if we
> feel an official has erred, we can appeal to the Ont.
> Building Code Commission for an interpretation or ruling.
> Gary
>
>
> On 21 Sep 2005 at 12:24, Scott Maxwell wrote:
>
> > I don't disagree with you, but you have to realize that not all states
> > adopt the codes for required statewide use.  In some states, codes are
> > adopted (and potentially modified/added to) by local jurisdictions
> > (counties, cities, etc).  That _WAS_ the case in Michigan until
> > recently. It was not until a handful of years ago that Michigan went
> > to adopting a code (which they DO modify some), the IBC and IRC, for
> > state wide use. It used to be that each local jurisdiction would adopt
> > what they wanted. Lansing, MI had adopted a version of the UBC.  Most
> > jurisdictions in the SE Michigan area adopted a version of the BOCA,
> > but one city might use 1993 while another used 1996, etc.
> >
> > And the point is that the jurisdiction (state, city, county, etc) that
> > legally adopts the codes can modify it as they see fit...and most do
> > so.
> >
> > And beyond that, even in some states where there is a state-wide code
> > adopted, it is a "minimum" code.  In otherwords, local jurisdictions
> > (cities and/or counties) can still modify the state code _IF_ they
> > make it more conservative (and requiring the use of full ground snow
> > load rather than roof snow loads per ASCE 7 is more conservative).
> >
> > And like it or not, by and large the local code official is the
> > "interpreter' of the code.  While it is certainly possible that they
> > could interpret it wrong, it becomes a hassle (at minimum) to argue
> > against such misinterpretations at times, to (at the extreme) bad
> > thing for the well being of your project (the good old phrase of "I
> > fought the law and the law won" comes to mind).
> >
> > Scott
> > Adrian, MI
> >
> >
> > On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:
> >
> > > I believe that the requirement to use ground snow would have to be
> > > proposed and included in the legislation adopting the code, or in
> > > subsequent published addenda.  Code officials, as far as I know, do
> > > not have the right to change the building code, though some feel
> > > that they do. That's the whole idea behind using model codes.
> > > Otherwise, we're back to pre-national code times when every
> > > jurisdiction makes it own rules. It may not be worth the fight - its
> > > not our money we're spending by upsizing roof structures - but the
> > > courts would likely side with the letter of the law, and in this
> > > case the building code is extremely clear. "Shall be determined in
> > > accordance with" doesn't leave much wiggle room.
> > >
> > > Jordan
> > >
> > > Scott Maxwell wrote:
> > >
> > >  Jordan,
> > >
> > > Not so quick.
> > >
> > > You have a point, but then Jim does as well as local code officials
> > > or states can "modify" the plain vanilla IBC (i.e. adopt it with
> > > modifications/additions).  From my experience, some local
> > > juridictions will require the use of the full ground snow load as
> > > the roof snow load (i.e. no modifications to flat roof snow load or
> > > sloped roof snow load). Now, it is my belief that this is largely
> > > due to the IRC (which I believe REQUIRES the use of ground snow load
> > > and does not PERMIT modifications per ASCE 7) and local code
> > > officials not realizing that such it not "required" if the design is
> > > an engineered design (i.e. IBC is used rather than IRC).
> > >
> > > Scott
> > > Adrian, MI
> > >
> > >
> > > On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >  Jim, I think you've got is bass ackwards ;-)
> > >
> > > I quote, "Design snow loads shall be determined in accordance with
> > > Section 7 of ASCE 7..." This is the first sentence of section 1608
> > > of the 2000 IBC (Snow Loads).  The ellipses referes to the
> > > requirement that the roof load must not be less than the roof live
> > > loads specified in the Live Load section, 1607.
> > >
> > > That's pretty cut and dried - engineers (actually, anybody) are
> > > specifically allowed by the code to use any and all reduction (or
> > > amplification factors) they deem appropriate, as listed in ASCE 7.
> > > The code writers appear to have specifically allowed the reduction
> > > of loads where allowed by the ASCE.
> > >
> > > As has been mentioned, the span tables are probably based on ground
> > > snow loads, and should not be altered without analysis by a
> > > registered engineer.  Ground loads are convenient, because that's
> > > what's in the table.  I would suspect that the tables also assume
> > > partial exposure, ventilated roof over thermally isolated living
> > > area, Terrain Categories A, B or C, an importance factor of 1.0, and
> > > no drifting conditions or sliding surcharges, and - of course - no
> > > unbalanced loads.  Prescriptive design has its place, but can always
> > > be overridden by proper analytical techniques. (That doesn't always
> > > mean reduced loads, btw)
> > >
> > > Jordan
> > >
> > > Jim Wilson wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >  It seems as if the code writers have eliminated the
> > > option of reducing snow load when using prescriptive
> > > design.  Subsequently, it is up to the local enforcers
> > > to decide if an engineered design is permitted to
> > > include the reduction factors.  Does that sound
> > > correct?
> > >
> > > Jim
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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