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Re: Code Costs, Redux

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On Jun 3, 2007, at 4:17 PM, DBruckman wrote:

Okay…Now I think I begin to understand. Sitting innocently here in CA, happily wallowing in a 10 year old UBC, I had no idea what the hub-bub was over code costs. THEN, after code conversation here, I decided I’d get myself moving into the 2006 IBC in anticipation of its adoption here next year. What do I find?
If I were to guess, based on my experience with the ASME Codes, you're seeing the effect of academic influence and decreased participation by experienced working engineers. Corporate America has lost interest in such things as design codes and support of technical societies which promulgate them, the way they're losing interest in engineering. CE's are lucky to a degree because more CE's are actually in the engineering business, so the process is slower, but it's happening. Most ME's work for corporations and the budgets for things like code committee participation has fallen off with the emphasis on quarterly financial performance and with this country's de-emphasis of manufacturing.

The state of the ASME Pressure Vessel Codes is appalling. The editorial work is rotten, and because the Codes have legal standing throughout the US, it's important that they're correct. So each split infinitive or rephrasing has to be approved by 3 or 4 committees before being included in the addenda. A new edition is issued every 3 years with addenda and errata published yearly. The addenda comprise replacement pages for all the changes, most of which are errors that should have been caught many editions past or hair splitting fiddles with terminology. The addenda usually make up more pages than the applicable code edition at the point where a new edition is issued. And it never stops. You'd think they'd have finished finding errors after 10 or 15 years, but they never do. And in 10 years the price of the Code has about doubled. There's an effort afoot to completely revise all 13 Sections, which should be a bigger shambles than the LRFD conversion the AISC went through a while back.
Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw/



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