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RE: ASCE / IBC wind

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I have not said much for a wile so here goes on the over complication of codes.  When I had about ten years of experience I went to work of a couple of "old" Structural engineers with three digit numbers.  They would check my designs for complete load path from the ridge to the ground.  They very seldom looked at calculations as they had little faith in the magnitude of loads generated per codes.  What they did believe is that if you tie your building together well and make the connections sought the building will stand up.  Pretty much what I have been doing for the last twenty years.  I use code loads for wind and seismic to get the permit, but the last thing I do before signing a set of drawings is check the load path and make sure the connections are sought.  Just my opinion of codes.
Acie Chance
-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Yousefi [mailto:Ben.Yousefi(--nospam--at)SMGOV.NET]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 10:12 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: ASCE / IBC wind

My 2 cents.


I agree with everyone so far as to the unnecessary complexity of wind design in the ASCE. And the same goes to some extent for other parts such as seismic, etc. By no means does the additional sophistication add a substantial value to the end product. A design by an old simplified method and the new complicated ones does not change the end result that much, except may be for complex and unusual structures or some elements of the structure.


There might be something larger at work here. Structural engineers have traditionally been charging too little for their services. We have all heard the comparison of the 1-2% of building cost traditionally charged by engineers vs. the 6% realtors make on a simple transaction for a building. The main reason for this practice may have been that the calculations have been traditionally simple and may not have required a lot of time to do. So, one way of forcing the engineer to charge appropriately could be to make things so complicated that it would not be worthwhile for engineers to undercut each other and design structures for nominal fees.


Ben Yousefi, SE

Santa Monica, CA


From: Richard L. Hess [mailto:RLHess(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 9:24 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: ASCE / IBC wind


I agree with you.

Richard Hess

-----Original Message-----
From: Barry H. Welliver [mailto:barrywelliver2(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 5:39 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: ASCE / IBC wind

Here in Utah we have been using the IBC since 2000. The complication in the wind load provisions does indeed seem unwarranted for some areas. I think we are of the same opinion with regard to the UBC and its “practicality” for nominal wind zones. We are looking into allowing its use (97 UBC) for wind design through our state rules as an alternate.


Going off on this tangent….


Is there a fascination with complexity of methodology which continues to grow in our profession?


I sometimes miss Frank Lew’s sobering “where are the bodies” reminder to think long and hard about what we say and do. If the actual benefit cannot be quantified as substantial, then why change the dang thing?


Barry H. Welliver


From: Paul Feather [mailto:PFeather(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 6:16 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: ASCE / IBC wind


Is there a simplified method of wind design for ASCE 7 and IBC?


The UBC is (was) so much simpler to utilize without any loss of conservatism for most projects.  We should be able to develop a simple method of wind analysis without all the gymnastics for simple structures.




Paul Feather PE, SE