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RE: WTC Studies-Structural Aspects

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My reading of the articles does not agree with your interpretation, but
it is the media and interpretation, so all due respect is intended.

I too would be interested in any substantive report or discussion of the
code differences.  

I think that computer presentations make great press, but I repeat it is
always easy to try and condemn a design in hindsight. The claims are
essentially unsubstantiated and were presented to the press in theatre
rather than a proper venue.  I would have preferred to see an in depth
objective review presented at the CTBUH conference.

To say " a better design" would have saved thousands of lives does not
define better.  The building performed flawlessly for many years before
the attack, and even survived the first attempt to bring it down in 1993
as well as a fire in 1975.  The concepts used for the structural design
of the towers were cutting edge, and also being used by contemporary
engineers like Eero Saarinen.  The buildings were designed in the
1960's, so we have 40 years of service.  Does not sound cheap, flimsy,
and under-designed to me.

There were many inferences besides the moral corruption quote that were
the basis of my post.  "The Civil Engineering industry's failure to
admit that cost-saving design features led to the World Trade Center
collapse amounts to moral corruption" is just one.  

What led to the towers collapse was a terrorist attack, not necessarily
cost saving design features.  As I said before, this was not part of the
design lexicon when the WTC was designed.  

If I am not mistaken, even our nuclear containment facilities are only
designed for the equivalent of an engine falling off a plane, not a
direct kamikaze attack.

I don't know the code in effect in NYC at the time, or how exactly they
differed from the Federal code; but if I had to make a comparison what
is the current NYC code based on, the 88 UBC?  And the current Federal
code is what, the IBC?  As a CA engineer there are whole new structural
systems identified in the IBC that we have not had code recognition of
until this year since we have been stuck with the 97 UBC.  Does this
mean that the buildings I have designed with building department
exceptions in order to recognize newer methodologies, even if they
result in lighter members in some cases, are somehow flimsy and
under-designed?  

Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Josh Comfort [mailto:jcomfort(--nospam--at)ggbse.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:51 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: WTC Studies-Structural Aspects

I find it interesting that you guys focused on the "moral corruption"
quote
from the article rather than the following excerpt:  "New York building
codes would have prevented the towers' flimsy design, he (Astaneh) said,
but
federal laws allowed engineers to ignore those codes. The same exception
has
been granted to developers of New York's Freedom Tower, which will
replace
the World Trade Center."

In my opinion, this is a more important item of discussion and really is
the
basis for Dr. Astaneh's "moral corruption" quote.

Can someone with better knowledge about the design exceptions granted to
both the original towers and the new tower provide a summary of them?

Josh Comfort, P.E.
Golden, Graper & Burton, Inc.
1500 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 509
Spokane, WA 99204
(509)624-3224 (509)624-3225 Fax



-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:PFeather(--nospam--at)se-solutions.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:27 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: WTC Studies-Structural Aspects


I too am a little disappointed with the articles and the tone.  Leslie
Robertson is a world class engineer, the buildings (WTC) a true marvel
of modern engineering.

It is always easy to go back in hindsight to try and say "I would have
done this different", or "if only they had..."

This is one of the real differences between design and study; in design
you make decisions and create.  Having done my share of unique problems
and large scale projects, cost is always an issue.  Part of good
engineering design is to seek graceful, constructable, least cost
solutions.  This is a long way from moral corruption.  I guess if you
have not been there and done that, as we say, you cannot appreciate the
process or judge from experience.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view, expecting
some lunatic crazed religious fanatics to go to such extremes to try and
destroy your work did not become a part of the design lexicon until
after this event.  It certainly was not part of the collective
consciousness at the time Leslie designed the buildings; we still
thought only in terms of accidents.

I would expect a far more unbiased objective evaluation based on real
concepts.

Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:32 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: WTC Studies-Structural Aspects


On Oct 13, 2007, at 3:14 AM, Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl wrote:

> Yesterday, I presented the results of our 5-year studies of
> structural aspects of the World Trade Center in Sibley Auditorium
> of UC Berkeley. Articles in the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa
> Times, and San Jose Mercury News cover the main items of my
> presentation.

I don't know about California but Florida and Minnesota make
defamatory public pronouncements (such as accusations of 'moral
corruption') a violation of professional standards of conduct. The
proper place for Astaneh-Asl's criticism is a peer-reviewed journal
where the evidence can be presented and reviewed in detail. The
articles contain nothing substantive, only vague allegations of
negligence and misconduct with no basis for reaching objective
conclusions.

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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