Posted by Manuel Oliveros on December 19, 2002 at 09:53:35:
In Reply to: Are old houses being blown down where you live? posted by Bruce Jennings on December 17, 2002 at 11:39:52:
In fact the countinuous outpour of legislation over the nations I think can be seen as a pest. It is also being used to push people (architect between others) out of business by exacting impossible (if only by ilogical) to comply burdens. This is tantamount to the illegalization of everyone, circumstance upon which politicians and officials of the state count to soften opposition to their rule.
This said, not all ther rules are badly in place. The rules of lateral force are brought after analysis of what is a proper degree of safety for our houses. This makes a difference between the buildings in a developed country and others of lesser development; it shows when the disaster comes.
Respect cost, the social paradigm has much to say; most of the cost of buildings in developed countries is just land speculation. In spite of this, one can take for sure that some enhanced mandatory standards for construction have been enforced more with the aim of keeping the mills busy than out of expected improvement in the serviceability of the houses. But this is also true of the works themselves, lots of those awarded by public institutions are many times aimed to keep content a favoured clientele than to anything useful to the community.
In all, and from Spain, arguing cost of down-anchors as something very significative looks baffling (to not use more sonore adjective). The stick buildings are without doubt flimsy for our general standards, and even if people is having giant problems in gaining access to property of a home, people is not wanting to relinguish the concrete and brick architecture. For what I have seen, for the ordinary buildings and homes (prefabrication excluded) we enjoy double thickness for almost everything in concrete, slabs on the ground, foundations and retaining walls. In spite of these homes being far more weighty and then far more true that on own weight stand, it is maybe over 15 or 20 years that I last heard of someone arguing to forfeit to include in the design the verification of the strength against lateral forces following the structural scheme.
So well, my vote is for the less legislation and the simpler the better, but these things about safety would be the ones I lesser would degrade (if something). Safety in homes was in Hammurabi times a relevant issue, and I think is a paramount thing also now. To what standards public safety must adhere to, it is a political question.
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