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RE: bar spacing

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Its good to know that where your ethics stand, but, someone correct me if I’m wrong, if you state and show that the design meets prescriptive requirements aren’t you mostly (or even fully) absolved of the legal responsibility relating to that portion of work?


Besides that, based on personal experience, there is a precedence showing that designs work since most residential engineers not only match prescriptive, but frequently exceed it.  don’t get me wrong, as a ‘young buck’ I’m certainly more than aware that just because someone has been doing something wrong for many years doesn’t make it right – but IMHO the adage that “anyone can build a building that stands, but it takes an engineer to build one that barely stands” speaks volumes about our purpose in life. 


My suggestion is for you step back and re-assess your assumptions, as I’ve found that simplifying assumptions, while necessary in our industry to be productive, can frequently be overly conservative to a surprising degree – in other words, go ahead and take long route in your calculations and see if you can’t gain some comfort with what you’re looking at here.


From: Jeff Hedman [mailto:jeff_h(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 3:59 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: re: bar spacing


I have a hard time believing parts of the IRC as well.  Especially the basement wall stuff.  I wouldn’t sleep at night using that or our state amendment basement wall stuff, and now this ICF stuff.  The walls are experiencing the same wind, seismic, or soil loads whether they are in commercial construction or not.  To me you are just living inside the factor or safety more if you follow the IRC, then designing by IBC.  Pretty hard to do when it’s your own license.  I don’t do too much stuff without calculation, it’s too hard to trust a table over calculation.  Be sure to get your fingers in a bucket of ice, you don’t want them to be sore tomorrow.