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

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It is the responsibility of the EOR to review the ER & to satisfy himself that the item meets the load/serviceabilty requirements of the code.  I have seen some stuff with ERs that I'm not comfortable with, but have never had a complaint from a CBO in that regard.
A drawing typically might spec a dozen different pieces of hardware (or epoxy mounted items)--from the Simpson catalog for example.  If there's something on the drawing that the Plan Checker/Building Official doesn't recognize, there might be a request to see the ER (very rare).  The Building Department's stamp on the drawing signifies their "approval".  The idea that there should/could be individual acceptances (letters?) is nonsensical.
Chuck Utzman, P.E.



Scott Maxwell wrote:
Jordan:

Don't blame the ICC-ES folks...it is DIRECTLY in the CODE that it is the
CODE OFFICIAL that approves such "alternative materials".  See section
104.11 of the 2000 IBC (I assume it is similar in the 2003, but the 2000
was handy).  To quote that section:

"The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the
installation of any material or to prohibit any desgin or method of
construction not specifically prescribed in this code, provided that any
such alternative has been approved.  An alternative material, design, or
method of construction shall be approved where the building official
finds that the proposed design is satifactory and complies with the
intent of the provisions of this code, and that material, method or work
offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that
prescried by the code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire
resistance, durability, and safety."

Now, personally, I don't see anywhere in that provision where ICC-ES,
engineer, or some such is mentioned as being able to approve the use of an
alternative material.  I only see "building official".

So, don't "yell" at the ICC-ES folks for following what the code says.
The IBC (and UBC if memory serves me correctly) only allow for the
building official to approve such stuff.  The point is that by law/code
the ICC-ES is not empowered to approve squat (ok, maybe they could approve
the way that you cut your hair, but that is between you and them).  They
are strictly an evaluation service/organization (see section 104.11.1 to
see where they "fit" into the picture).

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Tue, 18 Jul 2006, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:

  
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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