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RE: Quake study tests a home's strength

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Will it test real construction with the most common missing details?

Have a 2nd house be randomly picked from one of twenty, built in bad weather and with the low bidder. Do not let builders and inspectors know that the house will be moved onto at test table and rattled around.
Compare results to the house made on the table.

The design engineer will want to reduce design complexity. The code writer and conference lecturer will add more demands. The plywood guy will fail the gyp boooooard shear wall. The prefab wall guy will out perform anything else. The sheet rock guy will demonstrate how truly with all of the design penalties, gyp board is better than plywood. etc. etc. etc.

I am now seeing prefabricated members and shear walls placed in very unstable ways, worse than conventional framing errors.

Like legos, at first there was a set of simple rectangular shapes. Now the multitude of details have left the children uninterested in the quality of what they make.

The true mystery of construction error should be handed over to the industrial psychologist. I wonder what he would say about the affect of the changing industry and codes?

David Merrick, SECB, SE, CE

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