Why did Haiti suffer such abject building failures when earthquakes of similar or greater magnitude are less severe in the United States? The answer is a combination of factors.
By John Palatiello •
Jan 20th, 2010 • Category: Regulation
American people and its Federal, state and local political leaders, indeed
elected officials worldwide should have learned an important lesson from the
devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti on
such abject building failures when earthquakes of similar or greater magnitude
are less severe in the United
The answer is a combination of factors.
“It’s really not the earthquake that’s killing the people, it’s the
buildings that fall down on people, that cause most of the casualties,” Thomas
Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center
said January 16 on CBS Evening News.
United States has some
of the most comprehensive building
codes in the world. Standards
for construction of structures are implemented and enforced by both the
construction industry and government agencies. Inspections and oversight are important government
functions, but compliance and proficiency by the industry is also
U.S. is also a
leader in another area that has
served the Nation well. There is a
traditional process which emphasizes the importance of quality over low price in
the selection of firms to provide architecture, engineering and related
the “Brooks Act”, the Federal law enacted in 1972 codified a process that had
traditionally been used by Federal agencies since
before the Civil War. It
provides for the selection of firms to perform architecture, engineering and
related services on the basis of the competence, qualification, background and
track record of competing firms, not the lowest bid. ...
To read the rest of the column,
click to baconsrebellion.com/2010/01/20/a-law-that-works/.
A Law that Works
January 26, 2010