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Re: "It's not in our culture"

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What about the dams in the Sacramento area?

SGE Structural wrote:
It appears to me that whatever the venue, the problem has much more to do with politics than with structural engineering. It is in our own backyard - not in Italy - where everybody knows about the dire situation with dams in the Sacramento area. This is not some unknown future earthquake, this is for real V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA

    ----- Original Message -----
    *From:* David Topete <mailto:d.topete73(--nospam--at)>
    *To:* seaint(--nospam--at) <mailto:seaint(--nospam--at)>
    *Sent:* Thursday, April 09, 2009 08:44
    *Subject:* Re: "It's not in our culture"

    Because of Loma Prieta, Northridge and Kobe, our building code has
    grown in quantity and quality.  We are constantly learning from
    each event.  Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone in the AEC
    industry is quite on board with the movement.

    It doesn't matter if a structure is designed to meet the minimum
    standards of a building code if poor workmanship or construction
    materials (i.e. owner's cash money) trumps the engineering design
    intent.  A building will behave as it's constructed, and not as
    it's designed...

    On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 8:26 AM, Scott, William N
    <mailto:William.N.Scott(--nospam--at)>> wrote:

If I remember correctly, Northridge and Loma Pieta showed us
        that our codes and engineering are not perfect. These quakes
        were a short 15-sec.
        *From:* Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) <mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)>
        [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) <mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)>]
        *Sent:* Wednesday, April 08, 2009 12:45 PM
        *To:* Scott, William N; seaint(--nospam--at)
        *Subject:* Re: "It's not in our culture"

        Bill, I do realize that many Italian buildings are way old,
and that many of them would be very expensive to retrofit. That said, if your kids were in an obviously fragile old
        school building would you want your officials telling you that
        "fixing them, and thus saving your children's lives, is just
not in our culture"??
        About 5 years ago I went to an exhibit in San Francisco of
        some very flashy, high-tech analysis and retrofit designs for
        just such old stone structures, giving the impression that
        they were addressing this subject.  Now I find that "it isn't
        in our culture," which rather surprises me.

        The problem with "knowing the risk and accepting it" is that
        the knowers and acceptors are seldom the ones who suffer the
        consequences.  Sort of like the Big Shot Financiers driving
        our economy to ruin and bailing out with multimillion-dollar
        Bet none of the guys who made a killing (so to speak) on the
        improperly constructed newish school that collapsed had any of
their own kids in it. They never do.
        Lastly, I do recognize that the guy who made the comment --
        Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics
        and Vulcanology (wow, they have their own institute?!) -- is
        only one person, and he is probably very sorry he opened his
        mouth, true though his statement may be.

        Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
        Richmond CA USA

        In a message dated 4/8/09 9:22:30 AM,
        <mailto:William.N.Scott(--nospam--at)> writes:
        You need to realize that many buildings in these towns were
        1000-years old or more. Renovations to these structures would
        damage the charm and would be expensive.
Italians know the seismic risk and can chose to accept them. Bill

        *From:* Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) <mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)>
        [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) <mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)>]
        *Sent:* Wednesday, April 08, 2009 7:12 AM
        *To:* seaint(--nospam--at) <mailto:seaint(--nospam--at)>
        *Subject:* "It's not in our culture"

        As reported by AP/ENR, an Italian government official stated
        that  "It's not in our culture to construct buildings the
        right way in a quake zone - that is, build buildings that can
        resist (quakes) and retrofit old ones. This has never been done."

        They say you get a mule to do what you want by first getting
        its attention by hitting it on the head with a 2x4.  I would
        think that had already been done in Italy's case, by past
        devastating earthquakes, but I guess not.


        Worried about job security? Check out the 5 safest jobs in a

-- David Topete, SE

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