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RE: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication Costs

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Title: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication Costs

IMO, all the alphabet soup of codes should be overseen by a central clearing house, (probably non-governmental would work) that we could all subscribe to and have access to, sort of like cable TV.  A subscription could, for instance, be added to the cost of license renewal that would allow access to all the relevant codes you are licensed to practice under.


From: Jim Lutz [mailto:Jim.Lutz(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 8:33 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication Costs


When determining the building natural frequency for wind loads (n1 in Section, I just use the method in the seismic section, 12.8.2 to calculate the fundamental period, then take the reciprocal. It’s close enough. If you are in earthquake country, you have to do this calculation anyway.

Regarding Dennis Wish’s other comments in this thread about the cost of references, all I can say is “Amen.”  Just as an example of how crazy this has gotten, I was laying out some fixed ladders for a pump station recently and went to refresh my memory on both Washington State and federal regulations. What I discovered was that both the federal and the state regs no longer tell you anything about the required details the way they used to, but they do require design in accordance with ANSI 14.3-2002. To get your hands on this rather thin standard will cost you $125 for information you used to be able to get for nothing. It really frosts me that any citizen has to pay to find out what the law is. I recently popped for the latest masonry code, NDS code for wood, and cold-formed steel codes and my wallet is looking kind of empty these days. There has to be a better way.

Although many who use this site turn purple at the thought of government involvement in our profession, how’s this for a proposal? The government pays ICC, ASCE, ASTM, AISC, AWS, AFPA, etc.—any code or standard writing agency referenced in the building codes—an annual royalty to cover the costs of code preparation and publication, in exchange for which these are furnished to the public free of charge on line and at a reduced cost in hardcopy. The public benefit is that architects and engineers who now get by on outdated standards or wing it would have easy access to all these documents at their fingertips, and lone practitioners with limited revenue would not be in the impossible position they are in now of being unable to stay current. What would it cost? I have no idea. $100 million? We are spending $100 billion a year on the war in Iraq. All we need to do is leave a month early.

Jim Lutz, P.E., S.E.

720 3rd Avenue, Suite 1200

Seattle, WA 98104-1820

206 505 3400 Ext 126

206 505 3406 (Fax)