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ICE launches guide to Structural Eurocodes

The ICE has produced a briefing document to help civil engineers understand the underlying assumptions of the Structural Eurocodes.

Structural design codes for building and civil engineering works have been developed over 30 years and are intended to improve structural safety and boost the competitiveness of the European construction industry.

As the most advanced structural codes in the world, they will become mandatory for European public works as well as setting the standard for private sector projects.

The ICE report, produced by the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS), summarises a more detailed SCOSS briefing paper on the codes.

“The Structural Eurocodes represent the biggest change in structural design regulation that we have ever seen“

John Carpenter

Author and SCOSS secretary   John Carpenter said the briefing document was produced as a tool for engineers to understand the core assumptions that underpin the technical detail of the codes.

“The Structural Eurocodes represent the biggest change in structural design regulation that we have ever seen. It’s very important that when engineers use the codes, they don’t lose track of the fundamental principles the codes are based on, outlined in BS EN 1990. This briefing document aims to highlight these underlying assumptions to civil engineers and other relevant built environment professionals who are now required to understand and comply with these standards,” said Carpenter.

BS EN 1990 outlines the key issues that must be satisfied for a design to comply with the Eurocodes. They include ensuring that the choice of the structural system and design, as well as the execution itself, is carried out by personnel having the appropriate skill and experience. It also stipulates that the work must be adequately supervised, the materials used in accordance with various technical regulations, and that the end structure will be maintained and used in accordance with the design assumptions.

The 58 parts of the Structural Eurocodes have been published in stages since 2002 and have been operating alongside various national codes, but from early 2010 they will be fully implemented, and are likely to over-ride all other models.

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