Why is SBCA & SBCRI Publishing Investigative Reports?

Originally published by: SBCA-SBCRI Investigative ReportOctober 19, 2015

The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. SBC Magazine is publishing this story to raise awareness of information publicly available online and does not verify the accuracy of the author’s claims. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article.

SBCA-SBCRI's goal is to ask: Is this true or not? SBCA-SBCRI provides the facts we are aware of and lets the reader decide.

There are common sense consequences to the application of raw material design values in the real world.

When design values are... ...then...
...overstated (for example, when 450=840 as it does in the IRC and IBC)... ...using the product results in a building with a true safety factor that is less than expected.
...understated (for example, when design values are very conservative, as anticipated by building codes)... ...using the product results in a building with a true safety factor that is greater than expected.
...accurate... ...using the product results in efficient and effective engineered resistance designs.

Accuracy and tested correlations are the only way engineers can provide a value-added service.  

The goal of the SBCA-SBCRI Investigative Report Series is to cover topics that concern SBCRI and affect SBCA members. Each report focuses on a single issue and presents the facts as concisely as possible. SBCRI has found that change is hard and changing long-standing tradition is even harder.

Key goals of the SBCRI-SBCA reports include:

  • Provide a public domain repository of knowledge that is easy to access, reliable and transparent. The hope is to increase understanding and foster change for better engineering.
  • Publicly solicit test reports and analysis that can provide additional information to enhance or correct our knowledge.
  • Provide clarity so that everyone using the building code can rely upon the derivation of design values that the code has established. These ultimate strength or allowable stress design values have been made law through codes and standards (e.g., IRC, WFCM, IBC, SDPWS, etc.).
  • Having accurate knowledge of the legally established design properties makes equivalent performance assessments easier. In other words, if 450=840 for OSB via the law, 450=840 for all competitors of OSB. The code does not say nor is there any data that says 450=840 is exclusively an OSB property. APA certainly has not provided any data to the public that says that this is the case, nor have they helped to make the factors that caused this to be the case in the IRC transparent. (See the Crandell/Martin paper on this topic.)
  • Make transparent, as adopted into law, any market inequities that established code design values created through testing and analysis of real-world building performance. This includes comparative analysis of code provisions and related test data, to provide support for equivalency assessments to an intended end-use application.