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RE: Bad Codes

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While I am probably nearly as intolerant as you regarding errata, I am not holding my breath for the moment that humans masquerading as code writers become perfect. One solution is the one that has been adopted by the ICC and its predecessor, the ICBO. If you order a loose leaf version of the code and send in your information card, changes (not exactly errata, but works the same way) are sent out when published. This way, the user merely swaps pages. There is also a code in the margin indicating the change and a revision history is included. IMO, ICC (and the former ICBO) are to be commended in this effort.


Sure, a loose leaf binder version is more expensive, but, given a choice, those who want updates can pay a little more.


My two cents.


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 F(949) 209-2509

-----Original Message-----
From: Garner, Robert [mailto:rgarner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2008 7:56 AM
To: Garner, Robert;
Subject: RE: Bad Codes


I am pleased to reply that following my complaint to ICC, from whom I purchased ACI 318-08, I have been contacted directly by ACI, who has agreed to send me a complimentary copy of the second edition.  I wish to publicly thank ACI for this service.  This represents what I expect and appreciate from our code societies. 


I do, however, remain intolerant of errata and I recommend that our professional societies, SEA, SEAOC, etc. take the position that codes are incredibly important and must be treated as documents that must not contain errors.  I acknowledge human imperfection but I accept no less than maximum effort.  Of myself, and of those calling themselves professionals.


I'm nearing retirement, and I'm definitely at the age of codgerhood.  I may consider assisting in code writing efforts, but I would be demanding as hell!



Thank you for listening.


Robert Garner, S.E.


From: Garner, Robert [mailto:rgarner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 7:35 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Bad Codes


I just purchased the ACI 318-08 Concrete Code.  My wife called me at work and said I had a package waiting for me.  I love getting packages.  I knew it was the new Concrete Code because I had just ordered it.  So I looked forward to coming home to break into that book and see the progress our "cement buddies" had in making the Code a much improved document, especially our own dear Appendix D, which has succeeded in creating a whole new structural discipline of engineers that specialize exclusively in the design of CONCRETE ANCHORS (caps mine to honor a subject that ACI has seen fit to make as sophisticated as the wind provisions of ASCE.)  What was the first thing I found in the package?  Placed on top of the Code book so that it stood out proudly as if claiming, "Look at me!  I am very Important!"  Yep, Code Errata!  A brand new code that isn't even accepted by code bodies and hasn't even been purchased by most practicing engineers, and there are four pages of ERRORS, whoops, excuse me, Errata.  Can't anybody get a code book published without errors?  Errata?  B.S., these are errors.  I don't care if they are the publishers' proof reader's errors or just stupidity in writing these books.  When I do structural calculations, I don't do this kind of careless work.  I submit my calcs to the City then I routinely follow up with errata?  I don't think so.  Everyone makes mistakes but the codes make them routinely and treat them as if they are just another facet of the code. 


As a Structural Engineer licensed in the four western states, I find the constant necessity of correcting codes with constant errata totally unacceptable.



Robert Garner, S.E.


R. Garner

Moffatt & Nichol

Tel.:  (619) 220-6050

Fax.: (619) 220-6055

e-mail: rgarner(--nospam--at)