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Re: Letter from Contractor

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Name any disaster, any time, any place, any country, any type of construction, and you'll see people flooded out, buried in rubble, drowned, burned up--from high tech failures like the steel moment frames in the Northridge earthquake of 1994 to the mud hut collapses in Turkey not too long ago, to hurricane Andrew to Katrina.  The list never ends, and the response is ALWAYS "This won't happen again."  But of course it does, every time.  As an article in this week's San Francisco Chronicle (sure, liberal, but also true) says:  "Nothing changed after the 1906 earthquake; they said they'd tighten up the codes but in fact they loosened them," or words to that effect.  In hurricane Andrew (1992) and in Katrina the conflict is always "Do we tight up the codes (and thus make many people unable to rebuild, resulting in homelessness/unemployment/destitution) or do we let them rebuild in the same manner as before and make it likely that the same thing will happen again?"

What's the answer?  Usually it comes down to a vote (in the code-writing community) with the financial interests, BOMA, etc., having as much, OR MORE, clout as the technical/engineering community.

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA USA 

In a message dated 4/20/06 10:02:38 AM, smithegr(--nospam--at) writes:

    Okay, but the question I have is where and when did this happen?  I have been busy both in the office as well as out and haven't seen the news in a week or so.  The newspapers here in town are too liberal for me so I don't subscribe.  I somewhat live in a vacuum.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neil Moore
To: seaint(--nospam--at) ; seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Letter from Contractor

Well, Brian, I don't have any problem understanding what he is talking about.   A lot of us talk about this - but maybe not with the rage that he's exhibiting.

I see the TV pictures of the debris fields.   Maybe we shouldn't be building residences with toothpicks, paper and pins!

I see the TV pictures of the block masonry of the church down on the ground.  I also see that there's no bar or grout.

I see the TV pictures with the mobile homes gone and the people crying.  

I also see the people that are hurt and have lost everything, but I know in my heart that in the end nothing will change.

I'm going to leave off my TV set tonight so I don't have to see.

Neil Moore, SE

At 09:11 AM 4/20/2006, Brian K. Smith wrote:

Who is this and what is he talking about?

----- Original Message -----



Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 10:54 AM

Subject: Letter from Contractor

Dude........5 miles north.....5 miles south..major winds in excess of 100mph...big ass 3' and calm...too was all isolated storm activity  they were 5 miles wide and just ripped through Gallitin...a little north and east of here..Hendersenville,johnny cash's home pounded too !! a car dealership was all smashed to pieces....unbelievable ! this new big ass subdivision got hammered too...some simple schooling on construction technique would prevent so much damage in the future ! I am compelled to write an article,albeit using a "nom d' plume" so I don't get my ass kicked,on  "why do you build like retards?  the norm here is to "look good" as opposed to "being good" or "built well"  all sizzle and no steak..I'll explain....foundations are just! strong...this is what holds up the works...NOT!..they build everywhere with hollow block cmu...nothing inherently wrong with that if you put some steel in it and fill it up with a high psi grout mix....nah..fuck that !! hollow...I mean nada ! so ....where are mechanical connection to the foundation......but....we put a really cool transition strip of trim to cover that joint ! wow..we even put some crown mould under the lip...behind all the brick veneer,,,no shearwall..just either 1/2 fibre sound board or 1/2 foam insulation...a few wall ties and it looks awesome...but can't handle any to the mechanical connection tying the rafters to the big wind comes..the uplift at the eaves just peels off the whole roof structure..shot in with shorty 8 penny toenails...duh!!  so now we increase the debris field in the tornado to about 300yds with lots of wood flying around at 180 mph..not to mention starts rocking from the roof getting torn off and the foundation starts to shake from that..and it crumbles because there is no true support!!!  f__king hillbillies..people in church praying for the storm to dodge them...they should be praying for an engineer who actually gives a shit...wham... the whole church dumps on them..what to they cover on the news???? the f_king pastor say's the congregation wasn't praying hard enough....f__k you...your stinking red neck brother in law who build this piece of shit should be culpable because he did not nail it off correctly....wait a minute...there are people outside my house with torches and pitchforks...calling my name..... got to run....johnny lee

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