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New steel standard for safer structures

EXTREME STEEL structures will be safer as the result of an amended British Standard which comes into force next month, it was claimed this week.

Steel Construction Institute deputy director David Brown said the latest amendment was rushed out after research revealed potential problems with certain types of steel structures.

Originally published in 1985, BS5950 Part 1, which covers the use of rolled and welded sections in building, was due to be superseded by Eurocode 3 in the near future.

'There was particular concern over long span lightweight structures and those with unusual cross bracing arrangements, ' Brown said.

'The clauses covering members subjected to combined axial and bending loads have been tightened up and made more conservative, as have the requirements for web buckling.

'On the positive side we were able to increase the design resistance of certain sections by up to 13%.' This would mean designers prepared to 'do a bit more work' would be able to produce lighter, more cost effective structures, he added.

Against this, another major change was the clarification that even braced frames will have to be checked for sway, which could lead to heavier bracing.

Printing of the updated standard began late last year but copies were withdrawn from sale after the text was found to be riddled with errors.

A British Standards Institution spokesman said this week that an errata slip would be ready by February and sales of the standard would restart before the 15 March implementation date.

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