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Re: ICC Green Building Code

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On Jul 15, 2009, at 6:49 AM, Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:

Yes but that's anecdotal.
Not entirely. I have some friends in St Paul, and some colleagues who get involved in air quality issues. Granted, the big problems, chronic infections, demolished houses, carbon monoxide deaths, aren't common. A statistical survey is pretty much begs the question, because the data isn't collected. I do know that backflow of combustion products due to low pressure inside a house was fairly common for a while after people started sealing all the air leaks, but it's an easy cheap fix. I think the mandating of CO detectors (and the reduction in insurance rates for houses fitted with detectors) is a pretty good indication that the problem is not uncommon.

Houses generally don't fall down because of drywall, trim, and the moment resistance in nailed lumber joints - all things we generally ignore.
Over here on the dark side, unsuitability for service is considered a failure, although not a catastrophic failure. As everyone remembers, I spent a lot of time whining about ultimate strength design criteria as only being a part of the job of structural design, but I still believe that any design which fails to give satisfactory service or which does not behave as the designer intends and the owner reasonably expects has failed. There may not be any bodies, but that's not enough. I can't tell and owner that his inoperable crane is OK just because it hasn't actually killed someone is no more acceptable than telling an owner whose kids are chronically sick from a $200,000 house that needs $350,000 in repairs.

I admit, there's some ambiguity, like a submarine story I heard once. After a war patrol a boat came back in which had been depth charged and run to test depth. On inspection someone found that collapse had only been arrested because the pressure hull plating deformed against an engine. The question is was it a failure? The boat got back so you could say it didn't fail. OTOH, the engine wasn't supposed to support the plating and only dumb luck kept the hull intact. I still claim it's a failure because you couldn't depend on the engine to stave off failure all the time.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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