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    If the engineer is not dividing by 1.4 and then using ASD to design the structure.  you could look at the difference in the force level to account for wet lumber, wrong size shear panel nails and other common defects in wood frame construction. so then the actual structure that has been built may then come closer to meeting the code minimum.   but building over the code minimum is not all that bad in earthquake country.  If you go back and look at what the code designs for is life safety not structure servicability.  Look on the tippingmar websit for a article on the engineer's dirty secret.  They also have an article on increasing seismic performance to prevent economic loss after an earthquake. they show a few percent extra can prevent losses in income and repairs.  but you should know what you are doing and the justification for it.
Tim Rudolph PE
Pinyon Engineering