flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

The ‘fuzz factor’ in engineering: when continuous improvement is neither

The ‘fuzz factor’ in engineering: when continuous improvement is neither


Bob Zabcik | January 12, 2014

During my nearly 25-year career as an engineer, I've witnessed some 75 code and standard revision cycles representing thousands of pages of text requiring review and interpretation. 

The biggest threat to human life in a building isn’t the potential of natural disasters, but the threat of human error. I believe it’s a reality that increases in probability every time a code or standard change is proposed. 

I know the purpose of building codes and standards is to protect the public, who need protection from the very real threats of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and freak snowstorms. As an engineer who has taken an oath to protect the public, that responsibility is paramount to me and one I carry with pride.

But the system we have set up to protect society has grown beyond a manageable state into monster status. Moreover, it is a venue filled with hundreds of hyper-sensitive, over-reacting people with individual research and commercial agendas, ballooning paper and free-running ink.

Dubbed the “fuzz factor,” this trend of growing complexity and shrinking time is one I believe poses a very real threat to public safety.

Instead of continuing to further define the problems and solutions like we’ve done so well in the last century, we need to consider evolving the engineering process to match the complexity level thrust upon the practitioners.

My solution: Have a peer engineer perform a simple cursory review of projects. 

To make this fully effective, it should not just be one or two peers. It should be more like five or 10 people with widely varied experiences and preferably strong cultural diversity, each one spending an hour or so scanning the results of the design, rather than the design itself.

Read more from the Star Buildings blog.

Editor's Note: This is sponsored content. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company. 

More from Author

Bob Zabcik | Feb 19, 2018

Spray and board foam plastic insulation: A primer for metal building suppliers

There is little doubt that the use of foam plastic insulation in metal building exterior roof and wall assemblies is on the rise. 

Bob Zabcik | May 3, 2017

Steel protection methods

There are robust, well-proven ways to protect steel so it can perform up to its potential virtually indefinitely.

Bob Zabcik | Jul 27, 2016

Metal Roofs Have Solar Advantage

 A large roof can become a resource that saves significant money on energy consumption and helps reduce emissions of CO2 and it turns out metal roofs make excellent hosts for solar panels.

Bob Zabcik | Dec 23, 2015

Taking the LEED in Construction

LEED is a rating system that allows a building to score points for doing things more sustainably, in a variety of ways. There are different kinds of LEED points that relate to materials, energy consumption, jobsite sustainability, and more. 

Bob Zabcik | Apr 25, 2014

A radiant barrier FAQ: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

There are many examples of materials developed for the space program making their way into everyday life and radiant barriers are just that. SPONSORED CONTENT

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: