If Eurocodes are coming, consulting engineers need to start planning for the changeover. However, where is the evidence that policymakers have got to grips with the sheer scale of the practical challenge?
Before designing a building to Eurocodes, an engineer will need to master perhaps 20 or 30 new documents. This means more than attending a few conferences and buying some new software. The engineer will need to read and study the new codes and to have proper training in how to use them.
Given the radical nature of the new documents the average engineer will probably also need a period of full-time training before being competent to design a real building.
Faced with a collision between an irresistible force (the Eurocode project) and an immovable object (practical engineering reality), most engineers are keeping their heads down, hoping that it will go away - and who can blame them?
Unless the government is prepared to provide sufficient resources for a safe, efficient changeover to Eurocodes, the only responsible course of action is to withdraw from the project. Has ICE got the guts to tell them this?
AN Beal (M), 10 King George Ave, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 4LH l Editor's note: NCE is very aware of the scale of the challenge faced by everyone in the profession to prepare for the introduction of Eurocodes - hence last week's editorial and our conference the week before.
We will continue to update the profession as the remaining parts are published and of course, as the country specific annexes are developed.