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Re: Things could be worse ...

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Conrad:
 
Who wrote anything about a house?  I have a copy of the demand letter.  From the names of the parties involved, it appears that the damaged building was some sort of hotel or motel.
 
Stan

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:59 AM, Conrad Harrison <sch.tectonic(--nospam--at)bigpond.com> wrote:

Stan,

 

Are they actually expecting a house to resist a hurricane and remain useable?

 

As far as I understand here, the philosophy is the building should not collapse and all parts should remain anchored to the owners property and avoid becoming airborne debris. After a design level event, the house will no longer be serviceable and no longer habitable: by the building code standards. And a house is no place to take shelter during the hurricane, houses are not storm shelters.

 

The exception is if the building is a post disaster facility, in which case it has to remain serviceable.

 

So the designer would typically only be found at fault, if the hurricane was less than the design level event: like Tropical Cyclone Larry. Even then the issue is still serviceability, and serviceability is a subjective viewpoint, the magnitude of the serviceability load is not mandated in our codes. So becomes an issue of arguing load exceeded serviceability and damage is to level as expected, provided resistance was there for ultimate strength load.

 

So designer wouldn’t typically be responsible for paying for new house or rental accommodation whilst house is reconstructed.

 

However it does require that engineers, architects and builders don’t go around telling home owners the building can resist a hurricane/cyclone.

 

 

Regards

Conrad Harrison

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

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

Adelaide

South Australia