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Code cracker


As Dr Nethercot clearly states (NCE 2 March) the introduction of Eurocodes is a far bigger challenge than that of metrication or limit state design.

Much discussion and dissent was expressed among the structural engineering fraternity when Messrs Rowe, Cranston and Best presented their volumetric paper on limit state design at the IStructE in the 1960's.

This was followed by an attempt by CIRIA in 1977 to justify the limit state factors for all loading conditions, thus dispelling deterministic for probabilistic design in structures, which was finally accepted as a reasonable rationale.

For most engineers this seemed a realistic approach to structural design.

Now we have the prospect of Eurocodes to dissolve our codes of practice, presumably to produce safe, economical and reliable structures.

Do we really need this?

Most of our major works are undertaken in the Middle and Far East, Africa and the Americas where British codes and standards are revered.

Our work is minimal in Europe and will continue to be.

If these codes are implemented, much confusion will exist, not only among the design engineers but also the checking authorities, which could lead to catastrophic results. It is codication for codication sake.

An international code maybe, but not a Eurocode.

Michael McPartland (M), michaelmcpartland@ mjassociates. demon. co. uk

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