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New Eurocodes will 'encourage innovation'

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STRUCTURAL EUROCODES will stimulate innovation by forcing engineers to go back to basics, a leading structural engineer has said.

Atkins Highways & Transportation head of bridge design and technology Chris Hendy said that the new Eurocodes had received a largely negative press coverage, but there were good reasons for taking a positive attitude to their introduction.

'The best thing about the codes is that they will encourage new ways of thinking about structures and stimulate innovation, ' said Hendy.

'Engineers will have to go back to fit principles and develop a better knowledge of mathematics instead of just being code bashers.'

He admitted that the numbers of 'documents on the desk' will shoot up as Eurocodes replace current British Standards over the next 10 years.

'To design bridges to BS 5400 you need five, with Eurocodes it will probably be around 14, ' he said.

Atkins had carried out a number of pilot studies with the Eurocodes in parallel to British Standards, Hendy said.

Those involved were initially shocked by the number of documents needed and had problems with the 'Eurospeak' language used.

He said that Atkins' studies indicated that in the longer term design costs would be slightly higher, while construction costs might show a slight reduction.

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