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RE: Anchors

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I am pleased to be part of a profession that can have disagreements, but can still move forward in unity with a noble attitude of helping one another.  I believe that the soils report requirement assumes to a certain degree that those documents are the ONLY means of obtaining useful information regarding geotechnical conditions.  There are record reports, general soil profile surveys, subdivision soil studies for regions that are close to a particular project's site, information on the historic performance of structures, in addition to the knowledge that "seasoned" building officials and engineers have of soil conditions over a particular region.
I'll give you a practical example.  Here in the Central Valley, we are fairly well insulated from major effects of earthquakes.  We've felt our fair share of shaking from seismic activity in other areas (Coalinga, Loma Prieta, and others), but have been quite fortunate.  Additionally, engineers who have been working here for a number of years are VERY familiar with where the "problem" soils can be found (expansive, high water table, etc.) and order soils reports as appropriate.  With the new code, there are many areas that fall into the SDC D category ... even the (large) areas where we already know there are no detrimental soil issues.  Although there are no soil-related failures or damage of any consequence, we are penalized.  We are penalized because of what might be "unknown", or because of what "might happen" -- I've always taken issue with people who continue to second-guess things based on a whole string of "what if's" because it's a dangerous philosophy to live one's life by.  If there is adequate, abundant, and sound scientific & historic data to PROVE that a problem does not exist, why is that justification all of a sudden invalid?  Be proactive, ABSOLUTELY, but there also has to be common sense.
I will live by the "law of the land", but it feels good to stamp my feet from time to time.
-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Gordin [mailto:sgordin(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 2:09 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Anchors

There is no doubt in anybody's mind that we DID have a lot of soil-related failures/damage, of varying extent, of both seismic and non-seismic nature.  From this perspective, IMO, there is some justification or benefit to soils investigation.  However, the "ad nausium" chat on the subject really does not matter. For now, this is the law of the land. 
The anchorage is a different matter, with no "bodies" whatsoever.  In this instance, we - and the public and economy in general - appear to be penalized just for somebody's purely theoretical exercises.  Unfortunately, the result of these exercises is quite practical and far-reaching.  It looks like the epoxy bolts are effectively being precluded from use in the SDC D construction.  It is still the law of the land, and all my ramblings about this code change still do not matter.  However, I find this issue to be much more outrageous.
May be some of the people who actually came up with these changes will make their reasoning known to the engineering community?
In the mean time, in spite of our disagreement on the soil investigation issue, you, me, and the vast majority of practicing engineers we are on the same side - and on the side of the general public.  To me, this matters the most. 
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Adams
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 13:25
Subject: RE: Anchors

With all due respect, I would strongly argue that there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for arbitrarily requiring a soils investigation in SDC D.  None.  If there was a bit more specification on the types of structures that we are concerned about (those with vulnerable geometries, for example), it would make more sense.  But there are NO EXCEPTIONS.  It does not allow the ENGINEER to make the judgment as to whether one is TRULY warranted -- is this because the state doesn't trust us to make the right decision, based on our education and experience ... or are we all being penalized for the negligent acts of others?