Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Construction stuff

"Alright Rife," I hear you say, "Enough ranting. How about some hard stuff?" Your wish is my command.

The International Building Code (IBC) has a brand new 2006 edition. There have been a number of significant changes to the wind load provisions, but you wouldn't know it from reading the IBC itself.

Back when the International Council of Building Officials became the International Code Council and started pulling all the codes together to make the 2000 IBC, the ICC wisely decided to start incorporating the various engineering societies' standards by reference. This became even more pronounced in the 2003 edition. The 2003 IBC incorporated the ASCE 7-02 wind load standards and then set out some additional provisions. The 2006 IBC has cut back further on the additional provisions and again incorporates the ASCE standards. The big change is that ASCE revised its standards last year and is now operating with version 7-05. These new standards have some significant changes, including new criteria for calculating wind speed in non-hurricane-prone areas (e.g. Washington and Utah).

I can't even begin to go into all of it here, but your structural engineer should have parsed this out by now. If you ARE an engineer, structural or otherwise, get parsing. Wind shear has traditionally been a fuzzy area that construction defect claimants have made a lot of hay with. If you can show you followed code and standards, you're in much better shape.


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