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Government commissions practical guide to geotechnical Eurocode

A SIMPLE, practical guide to Eurocode 7, Geotechnical Design, has been commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The guide for UK designers will be written by a consortium led by BRE and including Buro Happold and the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Its contents will include:

The range of ultimate limit states defined by EN1997.

Geotechnical design methods based on calculations (analytical approach), prescribed rules (prescriptive approach), samples and tests (experimental approach) and continuous review during construction (observational method).

The differences between the Design Approaches (DAs) in EN1997 and the current British codes, and the circumstances in which each is to be adopted.

The selection of the partial factor values specified in the National Annex.

How EN1997 integrates with the standards and technical specifications from the other CEN committees.

How certain national standards, such as BS5930 Code of practice for site investigations and BS1377

Methods of tests for soils for civil engineering purposes, will be retained because material equivalents will not exist in the EU documents.

Consequences, such as the cost implications of adopting EN1997 designs.

A broad range of representative design examples reflecting the spectrum of designers who will use the code, from simple foundations and retaining walls for housing to major infrastructure projects using state-of-the-art design that will need to demonstrate compliance with the code.

Three levels of readership are envisaged for the guide: geotechnical engineers who carry out 'routine' design in the UK; national consultants, many of whom may not be geotechnical engineers, working on small projects and for whom the transition to the Eurocode may be more difficult; and international consultants, who will compete in EU member states for major, public procurement and other projects.

BRE wants comments on what the guide should contain. Readers are invited to complete a questionnaire, downloadable from http: //projects. bre. co. uk/EC7guide.

Alternatively, contact project manager Hilary Skinner, email skinnerh@bre. co. uk; tel: 01923 664183.

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