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Mexico City Quake

conarb

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I'm sure all here have read about the recent Mexico City quake, I just read the article below on Zero Hedge (a hedge traders' site) and read some interesting comments below the article, including this one:

Zero Hedge said:
What stops corners being cut are 4 things.

Honest officials

competent tradesmen

educated customers

..and all of them not being greedy.

What is now happening in the western world is the same as already exists in the Third World, which is none of the above. And I can assure you from first hand experience that a plethora of regulations not only does not ensure safety, but increasingly leads to more dangerous behaviour.

If everything was cut out from the building code which did not significantly affect safety (about 80% of it, these days), then safe houses could be built economically.¹
He's probably right, 80% of the codes is now political garbage like disability, Green, and energy saving, looks like the public is starting to wake up, codes are necessary, honest enforcement is necessary, but too much garbage in the codes is counter-productive.


¹ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-25/doesnt-mexico-have-building-codes
 

Mark K

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My sense is that building codes per se are not the major contributor to cost of housing. For existing buildings the cost of housing is based on demand and what the market will pay. My house will now sell for more than 10 times the amount that I put into it in the past.

For new construction will suggest that the cost of planning approvals is a major contributor. We now pay tradesmen healthy wages at least in California. In many cases the Owner wants a more interesting building which means more engineering and more detailed work.

I am trying to replace some window sashes and it is 2 weeks so far. I have got building code signoff when they realized that my application was correct. They initially wanted me to submit a property plan and provide low U glazing but a reading of the code makes it clear that this is not required for sash replacement. If I had rolled over it would have cost an additional $2,500. The initial plan check comments were obviously generated without thought in order for the checker to say that the review had been completed within the time expected.

I am trying to resolve zoning comments but I cannot reach the commenter to resolve the comments. Zoning asked for dimensioned property lines and distances from building. No code section was provided. I am not changing occupancy or changing the exterior look of the building. I consider the comments to be chicken sh-- comments generated so the checker could claim to have processed the application with in the targeted time. The net result is that they will spend more time and the supervisor will be involved.
 

conarb

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Mark:

I had a similar problem, I was going to add a double garage in my back yard, a few years ago that would have been a $30,000 project, in going over it with the City I found that I no longer had an R occupancy with a U in the back yard but the current zoning would allow me to connect them, so I decided to extend and remodel two baths and include an art gallery between them, the structural engineering was over the top considering the existing house has no engineering but that didn't stop me, what stopped me was the requirement that I have civil engineering with an extensive drainage plan including large hard surface fees for driveway etc.

I decided it now looked like $200,000 and my son didn't want it preferring to keep the back yard for vegetable gardens, he was also concerned about property tax increases since my intention is to leave it to him with a Prop 58 transfer retaining the Prop 13 tax base. As it is I paid an architect, a structural engineer, and a civil engineer and did nothing, the drainage plan was the killer, I would have paid the structural upgrades joking with the wife: "If an earthquake hits we'll go out and stand in the garage."
 

conarb

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I think the point is that the general public is all for building codes and strict enforcement, but against all the extraneous stuff that's been crammed in, like this statement: "If everything was cut out from the building code which did not significantly affect safety (about 80% of it, these days), then safe houses could be built economically".

Seems to me you guys should take this seriously.
 

tmurray

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If the public is against extraneous stuff, why do they keep electing people that make the codes into laws?

Trust me we do take codes seriously. That's the job. It also appears to be why you are here complaining;)
 

conarb

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Trust me we do take codes seriously. That's the job. It also appears to be why you are here complaining;)
I wasn't complaining when we were on the UBC, it's when codes went political with the I Codes, the codes have no business in social engineering, they have no business in civil rights, as the commenter said, 80% of the codes are good, it's all the bullshit that's been incorporated into the codes for political purposes, we have a Green Party in this country, worldwide the Greens are major political parties, and we have incorporated their agenda into the codes with the Green and Energy Codes. Forcibly regulating the amounts of energy a man uses is collectivism and tyranny.
 

tmurray

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But you didn't address my first statement. You say there are all these new Green political parties. So as these parties gain strength, could it not be that the public wants the construction codes to address items like energy efficiency? How is the government to regulate something, but not "forcibly" as you stated. What of the builder who shows complete disregard for the code and builds structures that are inherently unsafe? Are we to stand by and waive our fingers at them so as to not be tyrannical? And how is regulating how many toxins are released into the atmosphere through your building's energy use not a life safety issue? That's kind of like saying you should be allowed to drink and drive cause it's only you who will be injured. Except it's never only you.

I refuse to believe as you do that there is a massive scientific conspiracy simply because some scientists (3%) don't agree with the findings. I can pay 3% of anybody to agree with anything. I can probably find more than 3%. I probably would not need to pay them much either. I also refuse to believe that people are skeptical of climate science because there is not complete consensus among scientists. I think it is far more likely that people have a desired outcome and look for evidence to support that outcome and only that outcome. After all, it's hard to admit that we need to change and harder still to actually change. People who believe the earth is flat, vaccinations do more harm than good, and people who do not believe in climate change all have decided that the limited and flimsy science that supports their positions rates higher than the overwhelming scientific consensus to the contrary. This is simply not a reasonable conclusion. And above all else, I think most people are reasonable.

But then again, that's just my opinion...
 

conarb

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The real thing that's going on is worldwide redistribution of wealth through the United Nations, the I Codes are part of that, The real issue to discuss here is the statement from Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, that it's all about redistribution of wealth to developing countries,
.
Investors Business Daily said:
Economic Systems: The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man's stewardship of the environment. But we know that's not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: "This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled.

Figueres is perhaps the perfect person for the job of transforming "the economic development model" because she's really never seen it work. "If you look at Ms. Figueres' Wikipedia page," notes Cato economist Dan Mitchell: Making the world look at their right hand while they choke developed economies with their left. ¹
Scientists are for the most part in our universities, and have received at last count $56 billion to advance this fraud, as a former philosophy student I can tell you post modernism has taken over, there is no right or wrong, there is not true or false, everything is relative and "The Greater Good" replaces true, or right. Of all the academics fighting post modernism your Canadian Jordan Peterson does one of the best jobs, Jordan Peterson

Our universities will do anything for money and power, just today FBI indictments came down on basketball endorsements and they are less than football. ²


¹ http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism/

² http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-...broad-crackdown-college-basketball-corruption
 

Mark K

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There are the codes and there is how they are enforced. My fundamental problem is with the way in which the codes are enforced not whether they should be enforced. A separate issue is what should be in the codes.

I got the building department to signoff on my original application. I am now trying to get zoning to sign off. They asked for a plot plan because building did, and which I did not provide and which I do not intend to provide since it is not necessary in order to approve the permit.

Remember that building officials control the process that produces the model building code.
 

Keystone

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Agree with above comments, land development costs are out of control. The changes I see for my area, small builders being knocked out of the business due to underground drainage/seepage pit requirements. 10 to 45K in stone underground is nonsense and can't be recouped by homeowners, banks have difficulty with this costs as part of the home as well.
 

mark handler

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We are still building homes and businesses in flood plains, wildfire interface zones, other high hazard areas, Poor Soil and Hillsides, The owners of the properties and the developers should pay, not everyone, when a disaster hits, and it raises our national debt.
Why should I pay, through my taxes, to rebuild a house that was knowingly built in a high hazard area?

Developers walk away with their millions and say, "not my problem, the city let me build there."
All Legal......

One way to battle future flooding: stop building on flood plains
One way to battle future firestorms: stop building in wildfire interface zones
One way to battle future landslides: stop building on hillsides
One way to battle future building cracking: stop building on poor soils
 
Last edited:

conarb

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We are still building homes and businesses in flood plains, wildfire interface zones, other high hazard areas, Poor Soil and Hillsides, The owners of the properties and the developers should pay, not everyone, when a disaster hits, and it raises our national debt.
Why should I pay, through my taxes, to rebuild a house that was knowingly built in a high hazard area?

Developers walk away with their millions and say, "not my problem, the city let me build there."
All Legal......

One way to battle future flooding: stop building on flood plains
One way to battle future firestorms: stop building in wildfire interface zones
One way to battle future landslides: stop building on hillsides
One way to battle future building cracking: stop building on poor soils
Well then reduce the population so we don't have these problems.
 

tmurray

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But that's just the thing isn't it? as we keep building more and more houses we run out of the cheap land. So we start building on land that costs more money. Then we run out of that land, so now you need to build on land that costs even more than that. Then no one can afford a new single family home due to the site requirements, so we need to start building higher density housing. This is just basic economics.
 

mark handler

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But that's just the thing isn't it? as we keep building more and more houses we run out of the cheap land. So we start building on land that costs more money. Then we run out of that land, so now you need to build on land that costs even more than that. Then no one can afford a new single family home due to the site requirements, so we need to start building higher density housing. This is just basic economics.
yes you nailed it, And some will equate that with "Social engineering" and redistribution of wealth and not basic economics.
 

conarb

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But that's just the thing isn't it? as we keep building more and more houses we run out of the cheap land. So we start building on land that costs more money. Then we run out of that land, so now you need to build on land that costs even more than that. Then no one can afford a new single family home due to the site requirements, so we need to start building higher density housing. This is just basic economics.
So we let the population continue to expand and stack and pack people like sardines in our urban cores? This all started with Erlich's "Population Bomb" of 1968, followed by the Club of Rome with it's "Limits to Growth" in 1972:
Wikipedia said:
The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book about the computer simulation of exponential economic and population growth with finite resource supplies. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and commissioned by the Club of Rome, it was first presented at the St. Gallen Symposium. Its authors were Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III. The book used the World3 model to simulate the consequence of interactions between the Earth's and human systems.¹
This means the American Dream is over, better to deport the oversupply to the frozen wastelands of Canuckistan.


¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth
 

tmurray

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This means the American Dream is over, better to deport the oversupply to the frozen wastelands of Canuckistan.
No land left anywhere? Or just not close to major urban centers? Surprise! highly sought after land in popular urban centers is expensive!

...Isn't this the basis of capitalism? Market demand and all that?
 

steveray

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Remember that building officials control the process that produces the model building code.
Not true....ICC and NFPA control the process...."Governmental members" get the final vote on changes (at least at ICC), but most of what we would want or want to get rid of will never make it to a final vote....
 

mark handler

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Not true....ICC and NFPA control the process...."Governmental members" get the final vote on changes (at least at ICC), but most of what we would want or want to get rid of will never make it to a final vote....
Most building officials are...."Governmental members"
 
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