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Re: ASCE being attacked

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Stan,

It's been my experience that virtually all buildings are "budget buildings". The owners do not want to pay any more than the law requires. To our credit as structural engineers people have come to expect the prospect of structural failure as impossible and, with our skills, we are able to provide the impossible. I suspect that if the structural EOR for the World Trade Centre had designed it for the event that brought is down he would have been sued for gross misuse of his client's money.

Now I've provided structural engineering services for a few churches over the years. I've generally added a little extra safety - call it using a larger Importance Factor, if you wish - in order that the church could be used as sanctuary in the event of a community disaster. On occasion I've discussed this with the owners, casually, of course, so as not to alert them as to my intentions, and I've learned the following: a.) they are not interested in providing any sanctuary to the community; b.) they do not want to spend anything more than the law requires them to spend; and c.) they only want the church for their own purposes as a place to pray. All this in spite of the fact that they commonly change the intended use of the facilities; down the road the church hall becomes a day care centre; or the basement becomes subdivided into classrooms for a religious based school, etc. etc. It's scary!!

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

----- Original Message ----- From: <sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 11:17 PM
Subject: RE: ASCE being attacked


I am not well enough informed re the New Orleans levees (even though I started my engineerng career there) but I continue to believe that the Twin Towers were budget buildings and nowhere near the quality of say the Empire State building which has concrete cover on all the columns, and that is why the Twin Towers collapsed so quickly and why the Empire State Building had very little damage when it was hit by a bomber years ago. And I realize the bomber was a much smaller plane.

Stan Scholl, P.E. FASCE
Laguna Beach, CA
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