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RE: Rho factor for wind and gravity loads?

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            Steve,

                        You originally asked about Rho for Redundancy. Joe said don’t “Please don't give the code writers any ideas.” You then asked, “I guess this is a little bit off subject, but does anyone know (by chance) how the concept of redundancy is addressed with the design of blast-resistant structures? It would seem that structures subjected to blast forces would have the same inelastic behavior and the need for alternate load paths, thus also having the need for additional redundancy. Has this need for redundancy been codified (or will it be codified) in the same fashion as it is for seismic forces?”

                        I’ve been told that code writers are indeed trying to write structural integrity provisions, primarily for blast. I understand that they are having great difficulty stating in words what that means. Apparently, most ways of describing it can mean “conventional construction” to some and a belt, suspenders and a sky hook to others. Paul Feather said it well, “If, as the engineer, you believe that your particular problem has key elements that require a greater concern for their loss as it relates to the structure as a whole, then it is your responsibility to consider and account for this.  You don't need some code provision to attempt to tell you when and how to consider the problem.” This makes what we do more creative, thus more interesting than I ever imagined it was as an undergraduate – when I was not studying engineering.

            Jim Getaz

            Winchester, Virginia