No Surprise

I was surprised at the brief and inaccurate characterization of the voting methods utilized by the International Code of Council and the National Fire Protection Association (ENR 7/29 p. 7). The false claim that only building officials vote in the ICC arena has been abandoned even by the most ardent of NFPA supporters. All members of the model code organizations, including building product manufacturers and fire officials, have a right to vote on matters that come before the ICC public hearing assembly.

But my earlier surprise was exceeded in reviewing comments in a succeeding story (ENR 8/5 p. 10). NFPA has refused to reveal why it pulled out of the signed agreement with ICC to produce a joint fire code. The citation quoted that it was because "ICC would not allow sufficient participation by interested parties, including the fire service" is a fabrication of convenience, not based on facts or reality. Perhaps this was an attempt to obscure the blemish on NFPA's cooperative history. ICC has, and will continue to, provide all interested parties with the opportunity to participate and vote in proceedings.

Even more curious are quotes by Martin Reiss, RJ&A's CEO, in the editorial (ENR 8/5 p. 64). Mr. Reiss' opinion on which code is superior should not be much of a surprise since he was chairman of the NFPA board of directors last year. Would one expect different comments or an objective assessment from one having served in that lofty position? Perhaps full and complete disclosure would enable readers to better understand his thoughts and the true basis for his opinions.


In the article on Chicago Bridge & Iron's recent stock offering (ENR 7/22 p. 12), we would like to note one minor correction. CB&I was already in the water and wastewater treatment markets before acquiring Howe-Baker International. That acquisition expanded our capabilities to include engineering and construction of hydrocarbon processing plants for customers in the oil refining, petrochemical and natural gas industries.

Panel Confusion

In your article on the tragic wall collapse at Home Depot (ENR 8/12 p. 16), some readers might assume the "precast concrete" panels involved were plant-produced components delivered to the jobsite. In this case, the wall elements that collapsed were tilt-wall panels manufactured on the jobsite. Either way, this tragedy might have been averted had the panels been shored until the final connections were completed.