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RE: ASCE 7-05 Errors

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Way back when I took the Structural II, I remember that I was not
familiar with either of the 2 Codes that were allowed to be used during
the exam. To prepare I took the time to flow-chart portions of at least
one of the Codes that I planned on using as my reference during the
test.  This "decision table format" was invaluable and I used it as a
reference after the exam.  The only problem was that once the Code got
updated the flow chart was no longer any good.  Ever since my wish has
been that just like some Codes provide Commentaries, all Codes should
provide a flow chart for at least the seismic, wind and snow drift
portions of the Code.

D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB
Senior Project Manager
Structural Department
Associate
Schoor DePalma Engineers and Consultants
200 State Highway Nine
Manalapan, NJ 07726
732-577-9000 (Ext. 1283)
908-309-8657 (Cell)
732-298-9441 (Fax)
mstuart(--nospam--at)schoordepalma.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Gilligan [mailto:m_k_gilligan(--nospam--at)yahoo.com] 
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 4:18 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: ASCE 7-05 Errors 

Harold 

With all due respect the justification for code
changes are frequently not clearly documented and the
documentation is often not availible to the users. All
too often I am frustrated in my ability to understand
the reason for a code provision due to the lack of
documentation. 

Code change proposals are often influenced by the
group dynamic of the committee and reflect political
compromises.  I have seen this up front.  The process
by which a committee drafts changes creates the
conditions which lead to mistakes. 

When the "Blue Book" was revised in 1988 an editorial
committee of 2 to 3 people went over the text to make
sure it was clear and reflected the intent of the
committee.

Given that the committee members are typically not
paid, the lack of proofing the documents has less to
do with the costs and more to do with where the
committee decided to focus its efforts.  If the
leadership of the Committee chair does not understand
the need for checking it won't happen.

Another tool that showed a potential to help
understand the logical flaws of standards was the work
done by Steven Fenves on expressing the AISC code in a
decision table format.  This work was done about 30
years ago.



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