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RE: Paying for clarification

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Dennis, Ralph, Stan, and others:

Three points regarding the direction the codes seem to be going--

1. When the code becomes so complicated that it's difficult for designers or plan-checkers to understand, it is NOT necessarily going to result in safer designs; it may lead to designs that are faulty, but so complex that nobody can tell.

2. Based on my experience with wood-framed construction--which makes up a huge percentage of new construction in the US--the problem is not the sophistication (or lack thereof) in the designs, but the lack of up-to-date knowledge on the part of builders. I expect that the same is true with other construction materials. IMO the emphasis needs to be on educating trades-workers rather than making the design process more complex (read "confusing").

3. If it takes more time (or seminars) to perform a design because the code is more complicated to follow, we "real world" designers might choose one of the following: Raise fees, or cut back on the quality of our drawings (there are other options as well, but no good ones that I can think of at this hour). Either choice results in our clients getting less for their money than they used to. This does not help the image of our profession, and--more importantly--it does not help the public.

A very large portion of our work could be done with *much* simpler code provisions, resulting in reduced design costs, no reduction in safety, and little if any increase in construction costs.

Count me in as a code revolutionary...

Thor Matteson, SE

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