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UK still not ready for Euro concrete codes - designers

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EXPERTS EXPRESSED fears this week that the civil engineering industry is hugely unprepared for the transition to the new European concrete standard, Eurocode 2.

The fears were voiced following a decision by the British Standards Institute (BSI) to withdraw BS8110 from March 2008 - two years before the 2010 deadline for implementing the Eurocodes.

This, in turn, will drive Eurocode 2 to be implemented earlier, said the experts.

The decision is understood to have come after a heated debate within the BSI committee and it is believed that not all members are happy with the decision.

Industry experts told NCE this week that there is much work to be done before the UK is ready for the switch.

'At the current rate of training, people will not be prepared for the transition to Eurocodes in 2008, ' said Chris Hendy, head of bridge design and technology at consultant Atkins.

'It is obvious that companies have not been preparing and are not even familiar with the timescale involved, ' said Hendy.

'Other European countries are using Eurocodes already, but we are behind, ' he said.

But concrete companies have welcomed the move to earlier transition. Concrete Centre principle structural engineer Charles Goodchild said: 'It is a progressive move; Eurocodes will bring the industry forward 40 years. Lots of research and development has gone into them.' But UK director of research body BRE Professor Haig Gulvanessian said the implementation of Eurocode 2 in 2008 could cause problems. 'The profession needs to take advantage of the training material quickly if it is going to be [ready for] 2008, ' he said.

For more information go to www. nceplus. co. uk

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