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Re: "Code Approval" (was big dig structural failure - epoxy anchors overhead supporting gravity)

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Where I am, ICC-ES reports are considered "code approval," and it's a darned good thing they are, or else nothing would get built. I know a couple of building officials who will "approve" the use of materials, but that's because they live and work in the middle of nowhere, and almost nobody gets sued. Anywhere close to a city and that answer is uniformly, "If it isn't in the code, I won't approve it. If an engineer approves the use of your widget, have them send me a letter and I'll okay it." Now, I'm not necessarily beneath wanting to be treated like a building god, but sometimes it get a bit out of hand.

It's annoying when the "evaluation service" says it complies with code, but doesn't approve it's use by the code. OMGWTFBBQ?!?! Look, it complies with the code and is therefore approved for use subject to the limitations in the report, or it doesn't comply with code. None of this "is complies with code, but isn't approved unless the BO, who probably has no technical training whatsoever in the subject application, says its okay." The wording, in my opinion, is just lawyer speak for "if you use it and it breaks, it's not our fault". Bull. If we can't count on ICC-ES reports to be accurate and complete, we may as well throw them away and just go with the marketing literature. If a manufacturer pays for the ICC-ES report, then the results should be binding.

The ICC is quickly approaching ACI in my "organizations I love to hate" list.

Excuse me...time for my medication ;-)

Jordan



Polhemus, Bill wrote:

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Skaggs [mailto:tom.skaggs(--nospam--at)apawood.org] Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 12:25 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: "Code Approval" (was big dig structural failure - epoxy anchors
overhead supporting gravity)

I'm not trying to nit-pick your main point, however it is important to
note that ICC-ES is NOT an "approving agency".  They have issued a very
good explanation of their role
(http://www.icc-es.org/News/code-approval.shtml).

-----/Original Message/-----

Man, I love it when a discussion comes up here that exactly matches a
situation with which I'm currently dealing.

I went to the page you referenced above and found this sentence:

"Evaluation reports on products have been erroneously construed as
making the decision for the code official rather than providing an
independent technical resource from which a decision can be justified."

Now, the great majority of situations where this misconstruing has gone
on, are faits accompli. That is, the engineer's already specified the
product's use, the contractor's already installed it, and no one is ever
going to be one whit the wiser as to whether "proper approval" was given
or not.

However, in my work I deal with the OTHER side of things: There's
already been a problem, and now we're digging into the "how" and "why."
And invariably, I come up with things that were done by my fellow
structural engineers not quite according to Hoyle (or at least the
building official).

What I want to know is: Do you ALWAYS have to get approval for "widgets"
like epoxy adhesive anchors that AREN'T specifically covered in the text
of the model code? That is the kinds of products that the Evaluation
Reports deal with.

If so, how maddening--and how unfortunate for the designer who meant
well all along, but to whom it never occurred to think, "oh, I've got to
make sure the building official approves of this Hilti anchor..."

Comments please.

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