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> Why design to the code? The codes are not written for the purpose of design,
> they are written for assessing the achievement of an acceptable level of
> performance. It is not necessary to do calculations verbatim to the code,
> only to remain within the guidelines of the code.
We often have to submit calculations to building departments for review. If we are using a design method not found or referenced in the current codes, then they will be rejected. Therefore, we may have to do a calculation twice in order to satisfy the building authorities. 
> And as others have implied do the structural calculations really benefit
> anyone. The builder or fabricator has some left over steel from previous
> project, over sized for current project, but it is suitable. And does
> varying nail spacing between 4" and 6" centres for plywood bracing really
> save the builder or the building owner anything in the over all scheme of
> things? Why not simply provide nailing to match the capacity of the panel?
> If doesn't save time, or reduce costs, why waste time on calculations for
> reduced resistance, when can provide a higher resistance/performance
> building with little effort?
 Unfortunately, everyone else in the construction process doesn't think this way. If it is brought to the attention of the owner that I used a nail spacing that is more than what was used on some other project the contractor is currently building, and if it truly is more than required, then the owner will assume I am overdesigning everything and I can lose his business. Even if I explain the rationale behind it, I will get a reputation for overdesigning.
> More attention to the reason for the calculations and the value of such
> calculations would benefit the building industry. I believe there is a great
> deal of wasted effort in design offices.
I agree with that.