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RE: ASCE 07

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That is a good point David.

Getting a building properly designed and constructed requires designs that
take into account the people who will construct it and also management of
that implementation so that there will be teamwork and coordination of the
efforts of the various parties involved.  The social sciences, including
psychology and sociology, are involved in that process whether we
acknowledge it or not.  People in those fields have developed knowledge
regarding how we interpret the work of others who do not share the same way
of thinking, i.e. architects versus engineers versus contractors, and yet
engineers do not study those methods and the social scientists generally do
not involve themselves in the real world of design and construction.

An awareness of what people in other fields know about management and
working together for a common goal would be valuable.  If we could do a
better job of understanding how others will interpret the new code
provisions that we propose and the designs that we produce, a lot of the
needless complexity of the building code and resulting confusion could be
avoided.

Richard Hess, S.E.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Merrick, Structural Engineer, Merrick Group
[mailto:mrkgp.se(--nospam--at)gmail.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:27 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: ASCE 07

A seemingly unchallenged assumption is that resulting products should be 
improved with adding more code and detail, more reviews and overviews, 
and more centralized power.

More, in this case, has a good chance of making things worse.

We need some social science intervention. Industrial psychology. Studies 
and conclusion on how to improve designs and construction. Office 
managers, code publishing businesses, company owners can not do this.

This reminds me of the 80's Nuclear Industry when there seem to be a 
direction correlation between added design rules, checks and balances 
that resulted in an increase in design problems. It was clear the design 
environment was changing from the goal of getting safety right to how 
will the changing code and reviews might trip up the design and 
construction progress.

Again and recently I have watched this in the building code designs.

We are now facing one super code, one standard makes all wrong or right. 
We are not facing one qualifying exam source. We need to make sure this 
approach will not make things worse but better. Our industry needs third 
party counseling, the social scientists.

This one-ness reminds me of the old Russia I visited miles of medium 
rise buildings in East Berlin being junked having the exact same 
designs. One mistake, no buffer, everything had the mistake. I am sure 
there are plenty of examples of this statistical problem.

I hear that the nuclear industry now has standardized the new plant 
design being all the same. I heard they used the car industry 
standardization as a proof that standardizing works. I don't like it 
comparing a million car results to 100 plants. I neither know if it is 
good or bad but It sure seems like assumptions are being made wrongly.

David Merrick, SE


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