GOVERNMENT FUNDED work to produce essential guidance documents to the imminent structural Eurocodes must start immediately if designers are not to be left in limbo, leading engineers warned this week.
A report from the Institution of Structural Engineers to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) last week called for £5M of government money to fund 27 man years of guidance document production and revision.
But this work could be hampered by a lack of experienced manpower as many of those who have been involved with the drafting of the Eurocodes retire in the next few years.
The Steel Construction Institute said that funding was needed immediately.
'If we put every structural engineer we have onto the project immediately we could get guidance for 80% of steel structures ready in about 18 months, ' said senior manager of standards Charles King. 'But if we didn't get the money for another nine months then engineers trying to use steel Eurocodes in 2006 would struggle.'
The ODPM said that £760,000 of funding for guidance documents had already been agreed with BRE and further support would be given 'subject to the availability of funds'.