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The Reasons We Have Codes
14

The Reasons We Have Codes

The Reasons We Have Codes

(OP)
For all the griping we do, it's good to have a historical reminder that our work isn't arbitrary and has a reason.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

1905 After the ASME helped overcome manufacturer objections to "needless government interference", Massachusetts passed "An Act Relating to the Operation and Inspection of Steam Boilers" in 1907.[15] The Massachusetts laws eventually led to passage of a national boiler safety code.
Grover Shoe factory disaster

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

(OP)

Quote (BigInch)

needless government interference
It's funny, but that oldie but goodie is brought out for every regulation today, whether it's true or not. From 1905 to present, the same arguments.
And when was the last time you heard of a boiler exploding?

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I much favor professional associations publish standards, which become adopted by states and local as regulations, over having governments just make stuff up.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I'd say the record shows it was probaly far from needless, however "needless government interference" is still not my quote. Somebody else said it in an attempt to emphisize the same thing; far from needless. Since someone else said it, I put the phrase in quotation marks.

I wonder how that regulation would have fell in the latest nonsensical plan to remove 2 regulations for every new one and prohibit any new regulations after 2018.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

But you are not getting the point. The less regulation, the less money has to be spent on compliance, and the larger the profits are. Follow the money trail.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

" the less money has to be spent on compliance, and the larger the profits are.

Absolutely, and that'll bring back stage 3 smog alerts in LA, which was common back in the 1970s.

Every major city in China is mired in lung-damaging smog. Why? Because there's ZERO regulation and therefore ZERO compliance to anything but making money. What does it matter if 20 million people die early deaths, there's still another billion.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Back in the 60-70s you couldn't breath in Houston. If the wind blew from the east, you had to get your car repainted. Gasoline was 15c/gal. Chevy Corvairs were the hottest car on the road; ya they caught fire, kind of like the 777 of today. Maybe we'll even be able to order up some of that good ole Agent Orange soon. So nice. BACK TO THE FUTURE!!!

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

(OP)
I can remember when the car companies said that requiring seatbelts in cars and padded dashboards was needless government interference.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Some regulation is necessary, and good. Like smoke alarms in houses that are sold. And is not an overburden to install.

But regulation to collect cow farts is an overburden and wasteful, besides increasing the cost of food.

In the electric industry, having regulation is also necessary because of a lack of understanding of electricity, and safety of the consumer who would be unable to inspect the wires once installed in the walls of a building. I think the same thing could be said of other building services, like water, gas, and wastewater.

But regulations in the EU on the size of an oven is too much.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Don't we have regulations that specify wire size?

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Interesting that there was still a room to inspect.
Before ASME, boiler explosions leveled buildings.
That one appears to have an intentionally weak wall to blow out.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Wire size is by the expected loading in amps. Or by the breaker size.

On the higher voltages there is less regulation on wire size. But that maybe because it is expected to be engineered, rather than designed by an installer.
At transmission voltages, we are required to keep track of equipment ratings, and develop a method of rating non-rated equipment, per FERC/NERC regulations.
This is a little different case, in that FERC/NERC seem to think the power grid belongs to the US government. Much different than public safety.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"But regulations in the EU on the size of an oven is too much"

Is it, though? Ovens tend to conform to a few standard sizes so that they fit into cabinets and countertops. One would think that a budding oven manufacturer would want to know what sizes to build and not have to waste time and money going to the local Home Depot or Best Buy to measure them there. So, if there were a regulation, it would mostly conform to existing marketed sizes of ovens, and would not be a burden, per se, since the manufacturer has a vested interest in building an oven that fits the market.

Nevertheless, the EU regulations are not about sizing, but about energy labeling:
https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/docum...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I figured it was to keep civil servants off the street... the world functioned for millennia without codes.

Dik

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Sure, if you're interested in snowflakes and exploding boilers. Life was cheap, so were regulations. If you didn't live in San Francisco proper on April 18, 1906 and weren't one of the 3000 to die or one of their families, then yes, codes are unnecessary. Even today, with codes, people cheat, which is why a bunch of UC Berkeley students' lives were extinguished because the builder cheated. But, at least the codes were in place, so students living in buildings where the builders didn't cheat can party hardy.

Do you want to live in a world without laws as well? The world functioned for millenia without codified laws as well. Codes are the laws for building and making things. They allow me to go to any hardware store and buy a fitting, knowing that it'll fit my plumbing, and without my having to make my own.

Otherwise chaos and BS products will abound. I got a package of AAA batteries, or so the labels claimed, but they were 20 mils shorter than what they should have been, making them useless in almost all equipment that I could possibly use them in. That would be the norm without codes and standards.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Quote (JAE)

. . . gas explosion in 1937 in Texas that resulted in the Texas Engineering laws.
California started registering civil engineers after a dam collapsed in 1928: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Francis_Dam . It is the second deadliest disaster in California history following the San Francisco earthquake.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

And by the way, the number of questions having to do with codes and their interpretations that appear on Eng-Tips forums would indicate that codes form a rather large percentage of the enginereing food chain. I might suggest at least a slight smile is in order while you are reading them.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Speaking of historical examples that supports the premise of this thread, we don't have to look any further than another Eng-Tips thread:

http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=402006

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I don't dispute the need for Codes. But a large amount of the questions we get on Eng-Tips are because the Codes are unnecessarily complex and obscure. Codes are no substitute for engineering theory and judgment, especially when the Codes have been "coded" into computer software, and students taught to use the software without also having the ability to interrogate the programs. This problem is the making largely of academia, and I wouldn't look to government to solve it.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Perhaps "complex and obscure" to some, but not so much to others, which is why questions get both asked and answered here. Experienced engineers are more capable of explaining and interpreting code ..and other issuees, since they have had a chance to ask the same or similar questions to the experienced engineers that came before them.

I can't think of a good example I know of which would illustrate an "Unnecessary" complex phrase in a code. Do you have an example you're thinking of? Usually, if I read a clause no more than twice, I get it. OK maybe 3 or 4 times if it's in Spanish. Tax and legal codes, that's another story, but also another web site.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

ACI318 is the best example in my field. When I started, the version was ACI318-1963. It was 6" x 9", 144 pages. It was, with just a couple of exceptions, completely readable and understandable to engineering students. I don't know exactly how much more verbose the current standard is, but MUCH more. With the exception of provisions for torsion, and allowance for high strength concretes, structures designed by the 1963 Code and the 2014 Code would not vary enough to matter.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Today is more verbose without saying anything extra. It's been that way since copy machines eliminated carbon paper and got worse after we didn't have to type directly on paper any more.

What parts of 318 appear to be unnecessarily complex? It does include a lot more than I first remember in 1975. Before didn't you have to buy the commentary separately. Now it's included. And a lot of appendicies on alternate design methods that I don't seem to remember from before.

The pipeline design codes have probably changed far more over the years. Now they include offshore pipelines. I wouldn't say unnecessarily, even though the design of an offshore pipeline then and now wouldn't be all that different. Just now they also define minimum requirements for offshore pipelines. Before we just knew we had to put in a cathodic protection system. Today they want to tell us that it is a minimum requirement. Seems logical since the petroleum pipeline companies layed off a lot of experienced engineers in the 80s and just hire engineering companies, most not with a lot of pipeline experience, to do that these days. Codes have to expand to include new systems, new methods, new materials. Of course they will become more complex, even though they may not actually change a lot of basic design practice. I wouldn't want someone with a 1963 code designing a 787, or wiring a solar rooftop sytem today either.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

There wasn't a commentary in 1963. But you did need textbooks to explain it, preferably one written by one of the Code writers.

You are right that there are a lot of things that require design today that didn't exist before. But "the more things change, the more they stay the same". I don't know who said that.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Just because a door opens outwards does not guarantee safe exit, unfortunately. Look at the Station Nightclub fire (where the band Great White lost a member)... double door, but so many people rushed it at once, they all got stuck tripping over each other. Despite being halfway out of the building, I don't believe any of them made it and succumbed to smoke inhalation.

While not gruesome, the image may be disturbing to some, so I attached it instead of hotlinking.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Absolutely right, outward opening doors won't save anyone, but inward opening doors can easily kill.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

According to the page source, you used the Picture command to reference the image, which is essentially command that displays the image in your signature block.

You can edit it, can you not?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

As I understand the development of building codes the first codes were developed by the insurance underwriters to protect their interests.
Ponder "UL testing".
As time went on, disasters occurred which affected voters more than insurance companies and the politicians became involved.


Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Sake of regulation? Where is that idea coming from. Please go back up and read the thread. Nobody has yet been able to produce an example with anywhere near the credibility of the examples above demonstrating the exact opposite, that most all regulations were enacted after large disasters happened to protect people from the same happening again. Industry did NOTHING!

Waross, an example please that demonstrates your contention of regulation for the sake of regulation.

The insurance companies couldn't handle what was happening with all the boiler explosions going on. Losses, losses, losses. They obviously couldn't charge rates that would put their customers out of business. Insuance companies paid the owners, who attempted to pay $100 for killing the only breadwinner of the household. The people demanded safety standards be enacted. Industry was not responsible enough to police itself... as always. Plain and simple.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

2
(OP)
What irks me is the anecdotal examples (cow farts; pond in the back yard; etc.) that are pulled out whenever the big guys want to squelch all rules and regulations. Regulations are more thoroughly vetted than our designs. There's reviews, public hearings, etc. They all (well most) have good reasons and sound science behind them.
What people have to recognize is the larger agenda of the heavy political hitters. If they can smear a stink on some regulations, pretty soon, they can have no regulations.
In Phoenix, not that long ago, there was some restaurant that wanted to remodel or expand or something. The owner didn't get permits and was stopped. This was an example of; "government gone wild." A "job killer." "The little guy getting pounded into the ground!" So let's get rid of permits!!

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I am pretty sure that at one time California passed legislation mandating that by a certain date, a legislated percentage of all cars in California must be battery powered.
The legislation quietly went away before the deadline. It would have indirectly caused more pollution than it eliminated.



Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

The California law never explicitly encouraged "battery powered" cars but rather focused on "zero emission" vehicles, which is the real goal. And it was never 100%, but rather a modest target of "zero emission" vehicles making up 15% of the total new car sales by 2025. That being said, it is true that this law was never enacted.

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/08/24/california-zero...

As it now stands, the official goal is to have 1 million ZEV's (Zero Emission Vehicles) on California highways by 2025. Currently there are about 250,000 ZEV's registered in the state and at the current rate of adoption, it appears that the goal of 1 million by 2025 will be easily met.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

BigInch
re complex codes
To pile on with what Hokie said, the 1997 UBC has 2 pages of text and 2 pages of tables for wind loads. ASCE 7-05 has a 10 page of text and 49 pages of tables and figures in 1 chapter for wind loads. Since people complained that the wind code is too complex, ASCE 7-10, is "simplified" with 6 chapters for wind loadsmad. I don't have any problems with the 60 pages of wind load requirements. But, I have a hard time sifting through 6 chapters of redundant information in ASCE 7-10.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

That's a windy code.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Who would get into an airliner if every week one crashed on the continental USA? That industry exists BECAUSE there is a design code.

STF

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

waross If you're quick, you might be able to delete your 1 Feb 17 23:07 post, and the last one as well... if you prefer.

wannabe, I can symphasize with that "windy" code. Thankfully it worked when people complained and it was pared down. Maybe more complaints are in order.

I'm not saying problems don't exist. In fact I feel that some of these organizations that write codes were originally very necessary, however today they may be doing so mainly to fund a lot of their own "research". I meant "justify their own existance". Especially when the difference between issues is minor. If codes and standards were made freely available on the internet, there would be a lot less of them. The federal law in the USA is that if a code is a US Gov design requirement, it must be made freely available. For example, ASME B31.4 (pipeline design code) 2002 edition is referenced in the CFRs, therefore that 2002 edition is made freely available at the law.resource.org website. https://law.resource.org/pub/us/cfr/ibr/002/asme.b... Even though there have been a few revisions since 2002, there is no legal requirement to use any edition other than 2002. That helps a bit not having to buy new codes every couple years or so.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Forgot we could edit now... image removed as it really didn't add anything to my point you intelligent folks couldn't imagine on your own.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Insurance is a contract, so why don't insurance companies write the required codes into policies?
Not that all the codes should be that way, but maybe to lessen the number of codes in the public domain.

Maybe like not paying your medical clams for an auto accident if you were not wearing seatbelts. Instead of making the police stop cars to see than everyone is wearing them.

Sort of conditional insurance, for only people who follow the rules. Let people do stupid things on there own nickle.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

(OP)
I asked a code writer at a code seminar why the wind code was expanding from 1997 UBC to ASCE 7. Basically, he admitted that there were no problems with the UBC two page approach, but this was more accurate (?) and covered more cases (I'll agree with that) and besides, this all can be programmed into computers, so it's really not much more work.
Of course, for fossils like me, who do everything they can by hand, oh well.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"Insurance is a contract, so why don't insurance companies write the required codes into policies? "

Code enforcement would only happen by litigation, which is costly, and would come out of the insurance companies' pockets, while in the current approach, code enforcement is by law and enforced by someone else who doesn't cost the insurance companies any money.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Cranky really? Think about it. Insurance companies may only have an indirect interest in protecting us, if any at all. I demand some sense of assurance that I won't be killed by simply driving down the street next to their plant when it happens to explode, or drinking the water provided from a reservoir located in the same valley. I won't entrust my safety to some insurance company with headquarters in the Bahamas who's real business is nothing more than financially protecting some billionaire's pocketbook and that may be perfectly willing to overlook certain deficiencies, if they think they can sell an insurance policy at a high enough rate to some idiot with a lot more money than brains or any cares for our safety.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"Insurance is a contract, so why don't insurance companies write the required codes into policies? "

Ever heard of Factory Mutual? They essentially created a lot of "rules" or code provisions for their clients to follow.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Yes I interviewed with Factory Mutual years ago. And BTW there inspections amount to a licence to operate a boiler.

But really you think everything needs to be a law? Why don't you endorse having cars inspected removal of airbags, and tire wear, and while at it inspect the whole car for rust.

That's the problem, we want government to do what it is not that good at doing.


RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"That's the problem, we want government to do what it is not that good at doing."

Seriously? Industry is really good at not doing anything unless prodded by forces greater than them. The only exception I can readily think of is IIS' safety ratings for cars, where the insurance industry needed to rein in car damage repair bills, and created a surrogate that could bully-pulpit automakers into building safer cars, but that's only because the insurance industry had a huge profit motive to get it accomplished. The automakers would have never done that on their own, even with public pressure.
> Auto: no seat belts until required by law
> Auto: no desire for better mileage until CAFE standards -- if not for the CAFE standards, we'd be using about 2x the oil we currently do.
> Smog: no abatement until Clean Act, for both autos and factories
> Beef: butchering obviously sick animals and shipping for human consumption
> Beef: feeding possibly CJD-infected meat to cows
> Supermarkets: relabeling expired meat as "fresh"
> Canning: no limit on bug parts in canned food

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

The auto industry did try once to sell safety.
Was it 1956 that was remembered as the year Ford sold safety and everyone else sold cars?
It was sometime in the fifties.
The general public does not often willingly spend money on safer products.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Interesting point on the cars.
There are currently one or two little vehicles (maybe more) on the market that have more than two wheels, but still try to qualify as motorcycles for government standards. Of course, if you don't have to comply with any crash test, seat belt, or airbag requirements, your vehicle gets cheaper and lighter and faster, etc. But the point is, that people WILL buy the things, the safety really doesn't matter.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Oh. Right. We've been ignoring that. Industry is only half the problem. The peps also need to be protected from themselves and their spontaneous combustion Corvairs. Put on those seatbelts, wear the helmets, put out the cigarettes. No second hand smoke (unless it's a toke). Insurance and hospitalization costs musn't go up for all of us. With dumb industries and dumber people, what else can you do. It's all begging for regulation.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I agree that's a big issue, there was some idiot actor that was defiant about not wearing a helmet. So, one weekend, he got into a horrific accident and fractured his skull and supposedly suffering some sort of brain damage. So, ICU, surgery, all expenses paid for by someone's premiums.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Not someone's premiums. Your's and mine. That's why effective regulation is in our immediate and personal best interests, aside from providing a subtantial spread of butter on a lot of engineer's daily bread.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

So we are stuck with what other people think we need/want.

Do you know how hard it is to find a new car with an internal roll cage, manual transmission, manual steering, and little or no electronic crap?

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"So we are stuck with what other people think we need/want."

How has that ever been different? Did Henry Ford allow people to customize their brand new cars? Everything you buy is built on someone else's concept of what the market wants.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

The point is government regulation and dumb customer choices is limiting what I can purchase.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

There is a difference between more, excellently designed, regulation and
More, poorly designed regulation.

The former is very very rare but does exist.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Can you tell us where?

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

While I tend to look for the rational and thus the intended value of regulations, I have to admit that I've had my run-ins with some real doozies. Take for example the regulation surrounding 'ladders'.

Back in my days working in 'hard engineering' (before I got involved in selling and supporting software) the company I worked for developed and manufactured commercial processing equipment for the food and chemical industries. My division, where I worked in R&D as a design and eventually as a project engineer, supplied automated production lines to large bakery operations. Many of our larger pieces of machinery, some as large as a small house, had to have access to the top or 'roof' area of those machines so as to maintain and service such things as exhaust fans as well as gas and steam piping. Now the regulations involving the design and fabrication of an access/inspection platform was not that problematic since such requirements as proper handrails and toe-boards could generally be incorporated into the structural members of the machine without a lot of extra cost or effort. However, when it came to the ladder used to actually reach the access/inspection platform, that was another matter altogether. For awhile there, the requirements got to be so onerous that we started to leave off integrated ladders and simply told our customers to supply their own since they needed only occasional access to the top of these machines.

Well this lasted just long enough for our lawyers to inform us that if indeed a customer utilized a 'non-approved' ladder to access an area where it was necessary to maintain and service our equipment and an employee was injured, we could be held liable for NOT providing a safe way of accessing the machine. Therefore, in the long run, it was cheaper for us to provide a ladder which complied with all of the relevant safety requirements, even if it added to the cost of the machine, since that would put the onus on the customer if one of his employees was injured since we had provided all of the safety features required by OHSA and so it must have been the individual involved who was at fault.

The other OSHA regulation which we constantly did battle with was maximum noise levels. In fact, my last couple of years working there was spent mostly modifying existing designs to reduce/control excessive noise from such items as exhaust fans, blowers, hydraulic pumps, etc.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

JohnRBaker,

I saw TV program on weird Washington stories. There was a strip club taken over by the government from someone who probably did not pay their taxes. Employee regulations kicked in, and they installed a ramp up to the stage so that it could be accessed by disabled strippers.

--
JHG

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Back in the 70s I did structural design for refineries, which included stairs and ladders for reactor vessels and distillation columns up to 180 ft tall or so. Stairs and ladder design to those heights are a separate science unto themselves and the regulations are very important. You do not want to have problems between landings when you're 150 ft up.

It's probably only because of OSHA noise suppression regulations that I can still hear anything today.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

If one were to look at the totality of regulations, no doubt there would be dogs and zingers, but those are essentially chaff or bits of dead bugs found in the average food can. The core regulations are there to protect us. To willy-nilly reject all regulations based on a small set of zingers plays into the hands of those that still believe that what's good for GM is good for America. That has already been proven wrong so many times. We used to be able to dump TCE and a slew of noxious chemicals in the ground because that was good for the business and to hell with the groundwater. We know better now, and that was EPA flexing its muscle.

No doubt we need to be vigilant, but as with police and fire, they are a necessary cost of doing business and living a relatively long life. If we got rid of the EPA, our air would look like that of China's, where you won't be able to see the 2nd row of houses across the street, and you certainly won't be able to see GM.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Depends on your view on the sanctity of life.

I have spent a career fighting the stupidity
 
and incompetent of management who had Victorian attitudes to safety and adherence to regulations etc.

At Christmas I was given by a friend a book on the history of railways - in the UK.

Interesting that the risk rates of people (men) working in railway shunting yards up to the 1960's gave a life expectancy similar on that of British soldiers in world war 2, and we thought THAT was dangerous!

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

While I don't necessarily have a non-parochial view of the sanctity of life of others, I do have that view of my own, and as sad as it is, my life and theirs are linked by affects, most of the time. If someone like the aforementioned actor wants to ride motorcycles with a helmet and is willing to take the fines and waive all insurance coverage for head-related injuries, I can live with that. Just like the seat-belt law; if they don't want to wear one, that's fine, they just better be able to show that they're in a separate risk pool that they've paid for and not be in my risk pool.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Needless regulation. Repealing Dodd-Frank is not at all about making banks loan money to "people that have good companies, but can't get a loan from a bank." Far from it. You might want to read up for yourself (at least about the most basic provisions) of this very important financial and consumer protection regulation before you get on the DT Midnight Express that just might put us back on the same obscure financial derivative tracks leading down to another too big to fail recession. Modifying or repealing this act is not something that you can trust to anybody in public office that keeps investments secrete and won't form a proper blind trust. Don't lose it to the banks again. Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. You might want to inform your congressmen about your opinion.... this time.

Reaction to change doesn't stop it smile

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Not to mention DT revoking the requirement that a financial adviser have YOUR financial interests as primary.

In what universe is it OK to pay someone for advice and they don't act in your best interest? There is no other industry where that won't get you in trouble.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

When did they ever? Revoking the requirement just makes it ... official.
What other industry? Hummmm. Just a minute. Let me think. Coming. Almost.
I got it!!! .... LAWYERING.

NOoooooooo! I'm wrong! It's politicing!

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Real estate agent. You hire one who actually works for the seller. But maybe that is because the seller is paying them.

If you hire a financial advisor that works for a bank or broker, then you are not actually hiring them, as they are employed already.
And if you hire them on the cheep, then you get what you pay for.

It's also like asking an insurance agent how much insurance do you need.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Our "Wealth Manager" (AKA Financial Advisor) works for Edward Jones, and so far (it's been just over a year now) it's worked out just fine.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
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The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Surprising it's taking so long. Give hm time.

Cranky, technically you don't hire the real estate agent, if you're the one buying. Not that it helps. It is like a massive, tremendously yuge conflict of interest.

Reaction to change doesn't stop it smile

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

So Structure Magazine just had this "debate" about ASCE 7-16, actually ASCE 7 in general. Somewhat relevant to this discussion:

Here's the anti-ASCE 7 statement by Jim DeStafano
http://www.structuremag.org/?p=10989

And the rebuttal by Ronald Hamburger
http://www.structuremag.org/?p=10987

So from this do you gather that ASCE 7 is too big, to onerous, and simply the wrong way to help engineers....
Or is the code there to provide as much information as possible to the engineer to make engineering better....

You be the judge!!

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

ASCE 7 Not having used the new wind load methods, or done any real structural engineering since 58.1, but being once a registered structural engineer I'll make a comment. My general opinion is it is not good to change things simply because you can change things. You need a justifiable reason. Can the design process be made better or the result safer. Can the new design process save money. Will it somehow result in better or more usable structures. If not, I don't see any reason to change. Does anyone know exactly why was it changed? What was the objective. Was the objective achieved? It doesn't sound like it was achieved, or more people would be happy with the result. In the piping world we use the legally, or otherwise contracturally required version of the code or referenced standard within. Sometimes the CFRs might even be referencing a version dating to 2002 or earlier. Why do you use the latest version of ASCE 7? Apparently it is not even referenced in a building code yet. Is there some legal requirement to use the hot off the press version, or is it just "practice"?

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

One's idiotic change is another's crystal clear clarification.

As with constitutional law, what is "settled" to one party is often highly disputed to another. The amount of work involved in getting a major revision passed through all the stakeholders is typically non-trivial, so if someone thinks that changes are made willy-nilly, they should volunteer to be part of the process and see, first-hand, why no substantive changes are ever passed without dissension.

I think that practicing engineers too often assume that everything in the code is so obvious that there can't possibly any need for expansion or clarification. However, when one peruses postings on this site, it's pretty obvious that what's obvious to some is murkier than ink to others.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

BigInch,
A few thoughts on your questions:

Does anyone know exactly why was it changed? What was the objective. Was the objective achieved?
Since ANSI A58.1, this document that specifies loads for buildings has morphed into ASCE 7 and there have been numerous versions - 98, 02, 05, 10, and now 16. Each time there have been changes to the specified loads (live, snow, wind, seismic, and several others) that appear to be the result of continuing study, research and lessons learned which resulted in more prescriptions of how an engineer can determine what proper loading to apply to their structure. So in a sense, it is a toolbox of sorts with a LOT of information provided.

The concern here in the debate articles I linked to revolves around the theory of how an engineer is either helped or burdened by such voluminous amounts of information. Is it truly information or is it just a lot of burdensome rules to follow that could be replaced by a simpler system.


Why do you use the latest version of ASCE 7? Apparently it is not even referenced in a building code yet.
Wherever a building or structure is located there is most likely an applicable, enforceable building code that will reference out to ASCE 7 and the particular version (i.e. IBC 2012 references ASCE 7-10).
So you shouldn't just automatically use the latest ASCE 7 but rather see which version is reference by the applicable code. ASCE 7-16 will be referenced by IBC 2018 so if and when this code is adopted then 7-16 would be used.


Is there some legal requirement to use the hot off the press version, or is it just "practice"?
The only possible use of a "hot-off-the-press version is that it reflects the latest state-of-the-art knowledge and an engineer can certainly take this into account when designing. The applicable code will enforce MINIMUM standards (i.e. minimum loads) so if the later version suggests that a higher level of load is more accurate, an engineer is free to use their judgement and perhaps use the higher load even though the applicable code technically doesn't require it. But if the newer version of ASCE 7 allows a lower load, then technically you may not want to go below the applicable code provisions.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"The concern here in the debate articles I linked to revolves around the theory of how an engineer is either helped or burdened by such voluminous amounts of information. Is it truly information or is it just a lot of burdensome rules to follow that could be replaced by a simpler system."

That neglects an equally important dictum; that a structure should be built in a cost-effective manner. Simplification tends to cause design loads to increase, thereby increasing the cost of construction where something less expensive would fully meet the design requirements for a given locale and conditions. If snow loads are never a problem, then the extra strength required to handle them is unnecessary and costs the builder and owner more than is required.

To say that a code should be simpler is to drive the design to worst-case design, since a lower design point would obviously be insufficient to hnald all possible cases. Worst-case design is very much an old-school concept; it's simple, but brute-force and inefficient. Brutalism meets certain design criteria, but the Crystal Cathedral could not exist in a brutalistic design universe.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

3
Everything in life is a trade off.

It's hard to argue against accuracy. Yes, our researchers are providing the industry with more accurate science. This research leads to more complex (but more accurate) procedures, which then become adopted into newer versions of codes. The codes grow and grow. This doesn't surprise me after all, who is against being accurate?

We should, to a point. An engineer's job isn't to be accurate -- it's to make decisions. And lots of them.

Engineers need to make countless decisions on a single project, let alone their careers. Should the wall be 18" or 24" thick? What's my load path? Will this material selection satisfy the fire provisions of the code? Is my edge of slab 1'-6" or 1'-10" along this column line? Do I have enough budget? Do I have enough time?

Experts have learned how to make decisions. Sometimes, you need to run a thorough and time consuming analysis. Other times, you need to discuss the issue with several peers, offer assessments, solicit feedback and use that perspective to decide. But most times, you just need to rely your gut and keep moving.

"Expertise" is shorthand for "my intuition and memory have been calibrated by so many years of conscious thought and experience that it's all one system, working together." That's powerful stuff. Our subconscious is where our real horsepower really lies...and it takes time and effort to build a root network into it.

We need to value what it means to be an expert. It's our calibrated intuition. It's our ability to make decisions. It's our ability to then communicate those decisions to a wide audience. It's not our ability to compute accurate answers. Heck, that's what computers do.

So every time we uproot our previous understanding in a favor of new, marginally more-accurate ones -- it costs us something. We can't rely on our intuition while we are reprogramming it with the new understanding. That takes time and effort. Meanwhile, our ability to quickly make decisions is short circuited -- and projects, clients, and our bottom lines suffer.

Codes are here to protect the public -- what's the best way to do it? Do you allow engineers to nurture their expertise based upon their current understanding so they can deploy it to make thousands of thoughtful decisions on thousands of projects that affect thousands of lives each day? Or do you force the entire profession to unlearn and relearn by tinkering with the codes so it takes a dozen pages to calculate a wind pressure of 24.31 psf when one page that yields 25 psf would lead to the same decision?

Everything in life is a trade off. My gut tells me that we should argue against accuracy more than we have been. Expertise is valuable.



"We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us." -WSC

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Does the code state that I must use those calculation methods? Am I (say as a registered professional structure engineer) allowed to substitute my experience and determine a design on that basis alone, rather than actually sing those numbers, calculating some wind load force and calculating some beam size?

I would tend to use experience in lieu of calculated wind loads if possible. For example, I generally don't do much actual mathematics for a low pressure, small diameter, buried, steel pipe operating at typical ambient temperatures, simply because I know MY resulting design will be more than the minimum requirements of the code, but not excessively so. I would not do a pipe stress analysis to verify that conclusion, simply because I know that a simple note to the design documentation stating that my professional opinion as an experienced, registered engineer is all that was required and that is all that is legally needed in my state to show that it is sufficiently verified.

Are you still allowed to do that?

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

BigInch --

In the structural world (or at least my niche, major bridge demolition), yes and no.

We're increasingly coming across owner's agencies who are requiring "extraneous" analyses as part of their approval process -- checks that we have deemed through experience, observation, familarity with the project, (etc) to not be applicable or to affect the design.

Most often, when we dig into it, we find that the requirement is not being driven by the agency themselves, but a consultant who has been brought on to review our plan. Ironically, even though we are also finding that owners are requiring more and more specific experience to be the EOR on these projects (which works for us, we have it), the review consultants often have little or no relevant experience. I suspect they are chosen more on the basis of having an existing relationship with the owner.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Yes. If they're willing to pay for it, no worries.
If not, sometimes the hardest decision you have to make is who not to work for.

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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Wow, I hope they had the medical insurance forms filled out:

"Faultless Healthcare Linen's chief operating officer, Mark Spence, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the three victims there were new hires who were filling out paperwork when the boiler came crashing down on them, killing two and injuring the third."

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

The reason we have codes is viruses, just viruses, plain and simple.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Needless government regulation?
In 2008 a seat belt and an airbag and a crumple zone in my compact car all functioned as intended and saved my life.
General Motors fought mandatory airbag laws in DC for 15 years. For this reason (and others) I will never purchase a GM product.

"If you don't have time to do the job right the first time, when are you going to find time to repair it?"

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

I'll never purchase a new GM product because of their past mismanagement. Or maybe the two are the same thing?

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Then you're missing some truly fine and well engineered products. Exactly what was is about "their past mismanagement" that you are so upset with?

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

What makes you say that GM is managed any worse or better than any other company, such as, say, VW?

STF

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

John, I believe that Cranky is boycotting GM because their management's disregard for safety. "General Motors fought mandatory airbag laws in DC for 15 years."

BP's on my boycott list (since 2004).
Amazon (since yesterday).

Richard Feynman's Problem Solving Algorithm
1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

"management's disregard for safety"

That might well be every car company. Ralph Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed" covers some of that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsafe_at_Any_Speed

Ford has had issues with Pinto and Bronco, at the least.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Are there seat belts in school busses today?

Richard Feynman's Problem Solving Algorithm
1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Some of you may not remember them, but cars from American Motors were the first with seat (lap) belts and self-adjusting brakes. They led the industry in several innovations, both safety and otherwise.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

(OP)

Quote (Some of you may not remember them, but cars from American Motors were the first with seat (lap) belts and self-adjusting brakes. They led the industry in several innovations, both safety and otherwise. )

And as I remember the Ambassador was the first car with standard air conditioning. This was quite radical in its day (1964 or 1965).
But look where they are now.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

We've owned three American Motors cars, the first was a 1965 Rambler Classic...



...that I bought two weeks before we got married (which BTW was 50 years ago this past Saturday) because my future (and present) wife refused to go an our honeymoon on the back of a motorcycle. BTW, it came with front seat lap belts.

Our second AMC vehicle was a 1968 Javelin...



...which we had while I was in college and which I used when racing in road-rally's (I was always the navigator, but my driver and I alternated cars when we raced).

And our last AMC product was a 1973 Matador...



...which was the first car we had with AC and an automatic. And it was a hot-rod, with a 360 cubic inch V8, four-barrel carburetor and duel exhaust. This was also the first car we drove cross-country (Michigan to Washington State).

I replaced it in 1978 with a Ford E-150 cargo van, which I converted into a basic RV configuration since we did a lot of long-distance vacation road trips. By then my wife was driving a Mercury Cougar.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Actually I was talking about the GM bankrupt/bailout. That was mismanagement.

What about the AMC pacer?





RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Why only GM. Weren't all the buzzards at that feeding frenzy. What about the 10 something banks?

Richard Feynman's Problem Solving Algorithm
1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

And Chrysler. Note that the only reason Ford didn't go the bankruptcy/bailout route was because they would have had to suspend dividend payments and that is what the heirs to Henry Ford live on so they decided to just hunker-down and take it out of the employees hides.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
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RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

JedClampett (Structural)(OP)31 Jan 17 04:00
I can remember when the car companies said that requiring seat belts in cars and padded dashboards was needless government interference.


We've gone full circle now.

Richard Feynman's Problem Solving Algorithm
1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

JohnRBaker: My mom had a Rambler Classic same colour (I called it "mouse grey") only hers was a '66!

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

Quote (JohnRBaker)

Some of you may not remember them, but cars from American Motors were the first with seat (lap) belts and self-adjusting brakes.
Hold on thar, my 55 Olds had self adjusting drum brakes. That was before AMC came to be, if I'm not mistaken. Or you mean one of their predecessors Nash, Hudson or Rambler already had them?

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: The Reasons We Have Codes

American Motors was founded in 1954, when Nash and Hudson merged. As for the brakes, perhaps I was thinking of first to offer disc-brakes. Also, our classic had reclining seats, when no one else did:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Motors

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

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