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RE: Wind force -- codes, building design, officials, etc.

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Ralph,

 

Our building officials are not all that flexible. Not according to the owners and builders anyway. But engineering wise generally don’t have any problems. My local council building department apparently has the most inflexible and pedantic building official in the state: so I guess it’s a good training ground. If can get past local official then other councils are a breeze.

 

Also, the building code of Australia (BCA) is open ended: it simply requires adequate evidence of suitability. So the building officials can demand just about anything for any issue they perceive. It is usually planning and architectural issues which cause the main delays: usually because no architect just a plan drafter.

 

The main objective is to cover the issues, achieve an acceptable level of performance, with the minimum performance set by a code. Design from first principles, dip into the code occasionally for performance criteria: the lower the load desired and the higher the resistance the more reference to the code is required.

 

So I don’t see why a building official not able to see 20 psf is conservative relative to say 13psf and 17psf values pulled from IBC:2003. And if older codes used such value, shouldn’t be an issue of builders complaining about cost: if they do then have more work to do and require more reference to the code. The real issue is knowing when the 20 psf becomes unconservative.

 

Regards

Conrad Harrison

B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust

mailto:sch.tectonic(--nospam--at)bigpond.com

Adelaide

South Australia