The structural engineering community has long been aware that the transition to structural Eurocodes represents a much bigger challenge than either metrication or the move to Limit States.
Its concerns were recognised in December 2003 when the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister asked the IStructE's president to convene a group to produce a report - National Strategy for the Implementation of the Structural Eurocodes.
Given three months and a modest budget the report was submitted at the end of March 2004 (www. istructe. org. uk/ technical/files/eurocodes. pdf. ) The report highlighted the different issues facing the various groups involved in construction and provided several recommendations on the actions necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
One was the establishment of a Standing Committee to assist with implementation and updating of the recommendations and this was established by the IStructE in February 2005 under my chairmanship.
Another rincipal recommendation was that a single focus for all Eurocode information - a website - be established as a single source of information, in many cases by being directed to the relevant parts of sites operated by other organisations. The IStructE Committee is currently working with Eurocode Expert to assist in the upgrading of this site to meet this requirement.
Thus, the IStructE and others are trying to assist structural engineers with the transition to the Eurocode based regime.
It is noticeable the provision of suffi cient government resources, as emphasised strongly in the ODPM Report, is still outstanding.
David A Nethercot (F), past president, IStructE, Imperial College London, d. nethercot@imperial. ac. uk