During my short tenure on the Board, I have observed that the addition of a practicing structural engineer to the Board is good for our profession and good for the Board itself. A significant number of the issues that arise are directly or indirectly related to the practice of structural engineering. Bidding, plan stamping, offering services under a fictitious name without a certificate of authorization, practicing engineering without a license, and incompetence are just a few of the areas that are the basis for complaints.
While I will certainly try to help make sure that we find and stop unlawful practices, five engineers and two surveyors cannot evaluate every case and make a fair judgment without a little help. There is not adequate expertise on the Board to address the technical issues that form the basis of complaints. This is where I think that SEAoAL can make a difference. The Board needs volunteers to act as technical advisors for structural based complaints.
Volunteers will be asked to perform a technical assessment of a complaint and provide the Board with an opinion as to its validity. Engineers volunteering to perform this service should be licensed, experienced and comfortable providing testimony at a hearing before the Board. Your identity will not be revealed unless the person who is the subject of the complaint requests a hearing and you are asked to testify. As a volunteer, you are protected by the State of
There are a number of reasons not to volunteer, e.g., too busy, opposed to working for free, uncomfortable with challenging another engineer’s work, and uncomfortable with testifying. All of these reasons are valid. However, the only way to stop incompetent and unethical practice is to act when it’s exposed. If the competent engineers don’t help, who does that leave? My suggestion is for each firm to offer one volunteer for a limited number of hours. When a case is offered, determine if you can help based upon the complexity and the time it could take. If the Board had six volunteers offering 16 hours per year, that would probably satisfy the need for most years. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact me at email@example.com or 251-473-8354.
The State of Alabama recently passed a law that will require any new building containing dormitory or classroom space for a public 2-year or 4-year college or university to include an ICC-500 compliant storm shelter. A similar law was passed by the State in 2010 that applies to K-12 schools. While there are many examples of tornado shelters capable of serving typical one to two story K-12 schools, structural engineers in Alabama will be among the first to design tornado shelters for the multi-story buildings that are typical on college campuses.
We are organizing a committee through SEAoAL to discuss and address some of the challenges of incorporating an ICC-500 shelter into a multi-story university building. If you would like to serve on the committee, please contact Patrick Lyons (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also welcome any questions or comments you would like the committee to consider.
You can find more information at the State Building Commissions' Website http://bc.alabama.gov/bc-bulletins.htm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2012
Contact: Richard Wallace
504/443-4464, ext. 236
The Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) has issued Supplement No.9 to the 2002 Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber providing new design values effective June 1, 2012. The only design values that will change on June 1 apply to visually graded Southern Pine and Mixed Southern Pine sized 2” to 4” wide and 2” to 4” thick (2x2s through 4x4s) in No.2 and lower grades (No.2, No.3, Stud, Construction, Standard and Utility). This also includes new design values for No.2 Dense and No.2 NonDense Southern Pine. Design values for all other grades and sizes of visually graded Southern Pine remain the same, pending results of testing scheduled for completion later this year.
The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber occurred in 1991 when design values for Southern Pine and other North American species were published based on In-Grade testing of full-size samples of commercially produced lumber. Since 1994, SPIB has conducted an annual resource monitoring program developed in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to publish new design values. Rules-writing agencies responsible for other species are in different stages for evaluating design values.
Design values for structural lumber undergo a rigorous approval process. SPIB partnered with Timber Products Inspection to sample No.2 2x4 test specimens according to a plan approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review. SPIB and Timber Products conducted destructive tests in bending and tension, plus gathered stiffness and property data, all in accordance with ASTM International standards. Throughout the process, technical review was performed by FPL. The ALSC Board of Review approved the new design values early in 2012 with a recommended effective date of June 1, 2012.
As June 1 approaches, users should begin using the new design values and revised span tables if they haven’t done so already. The intent of the six-month transition period was to minimize project delays and supply chain disruptions by providing time to begin to use the new design values or switch to other Southern Pine grades or
sizes meeting performance requirements. Southern Pine users have many available product options including visually graded dimension lumber and an increasing supply of mechanically graded lumber. Many producers and key customer groups have already successfully transitioned to the new design values with minimal disruption to their businesses.
Building codes reference design values certified by the ALSC Board of Review. The American Wood Council (AWC) publishes these design values in a supplement to the code-referenced National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction. Building codes also include span tables and other prescriptive requirements that will need to be amended to reflect the new design values. Visit www.awc.org to download the AWC Addendum to Design Values for Wood Construction, revised prescriptive span tables and other updates to AWC’s standards and design tools. Also visit www.southernpine.com to obtain easy-to-use span tables for specific grades and sizes of Southern Pine lumber.
SPIB and Timber Products are currently working to complete the full In-Grade matrix by destructively testing Select Structural 2x4s, No.2 and Select Structural 2x8s, and No.2 and Select Structural 2x10s in bending, tension and compression. Additional design value changes are expected once all the testing is completed later this year. Moving forward, Southern Pine will continue to be monitored with annual destructive testing.
Southern Pine remains strong, dependable
Southern Pine’s strength is comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction. “Southern Pine remains one of the best construction products on the market today,” said Cathy Kaake, senior director of engineered and framing markets for the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). “Southern Pine lumber provides a great value in a wide variety of applications. From framing a house to building a deck, Southern Pine continues to be a dependable product for any project,” added Cathy.
Southern Pine forests are some of the most productive and sustainable timberlands in the world, capturing large amounts of carbon from the air and storing it in lumber used every day.
Southern Pine is grown and manufactured in the U.S. South, further improving local economies, reducing transportation costs and minimizing impacts on the environment.
SFPA continues to provide answers to common questions, including impacts on real-world applications. One common question is, “Will new design values affect existing homes?” The short answer: “No. The new design values only apply to new construction, not existing construction.” Southern Pine users can find answers to more than 30 questions and other helpful information by visiting www.southernpine.com.
SFPA does not test lumber or establish design values. SFPA’s primary function is to market lumber products and to help users understand Southern Pine grading rules and design values.
SFPA is a nonprofit trade association that has represented manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber since 1915.
Today, SFPA is the leading source of information about Southern Pine products for
design-build professionals and consumers.
www.southernpine.com www.sfpa.org @Southern_Pine
Article from The Clanton Advertiser
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs News Release
March 15, 2012
Contact: Richard Wallace
504/443-4464, ext. 236
ALSC Approves New Design Values for Southern Pine Dense and NonDense Lumber
Effective June 1, 2012
As a follow up to its approval of new design values for visually graded No.2 and lower grades of 2x4 Southern Pine lumber in January, the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review has approved new design values for No.2 2x4 Dense and NonDense grades, with an effective date of June 1, 2012. This size category includes material that is 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide. In announcing its decision March 9, ALSC stated: “After consideration of all the information available to it, the Board approved the No.2 Dense 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide and No.2 Non-Dense 2 to 4 inches thick and 2 to 4 inches wide southern pine design values as submitted by SPIB on February 10, 2012 with a recommended effective date of June 1, 2012.”
“The new design values for No.2 Dense and No.2 NonDense apply only to Southern Pine lumber,” says Cathy Kaake, senior director of engineered and framing markets for the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). “Mixed Southern Pine does not have published Dense and NonDense grades,” she adds.
Minutes of the ALSC Board of Review’s March 9 executive session along with previous ALSC rulings are available on the New Design Values page of www.southernpine.com. Also available from this page is Supplement No.9 to SPIB’s 2002 Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber, plus a revised table providing the new design values. An updated Questions & Answers document will be available soon.
BACKGROUND: The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber occurred in 1991 when design values for Southern Pine and other North American species were published based on In-Grade testing of full-size samples of commercially produced lumber. Since 1994, SPIB has conducted an annual resource monitoring program developed in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to submit proposed design value changes. Rules-writing agencies responsible for other species are in different stages for evaluating design values.
Complete information about Southern Pine design values is available at www.southernpine.com.
design/build professionals and consumers.
The latest edition of the SEER Manual, brought to you by the NCSEA and the Structural Engineer Emergency Response (SEER) Committee is now available online. Click here to download the manual This updated manual provides a uniform framework for emergency response engineers, so that responders from different areas of the country will be able to uniformly assist, without having to learn/relearn assessment protocols and procedures.
SFPA website: http://sfpa.org/2012/01/news-release-design-value-transitions/
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PDF Registration Form: March 8 2012 Seminar Registration FormFinal.pdf
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