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Wind-load annex green lights Eurocode designs

The national annex for the Eurocode covering wind actions was published last week, which means that Eurocode building designs can now be accepted by UK local authorities as complying with the Building Regulations.

The structural Eurocodes are a set of unified international codes of practice for designing buildings and civil engineering structures, which will eventually replace national codes like the British Standards. From March 2010, all public sector works will need to be designed to Eurocodes and British Standards will no longer be updated.

There are ten Eurocodes in total - one explaining the basis of design to Eurocodes and the principles behind them, one explaining load cases to be considered, one for each of the major materials - steel, concrete, timber, masonry, aluminium, composite construction, one for seismic design and one for geotechnical design. Each consists a number of parts and is accompanied by a National Annex, which gives country specific values and guidelines.

All ten Eurocodes have now been published as well as a large majority of the National Annexes. The annex dealing with wind loads was published today and the remaining national annexes will be published between now and spring 2009.

It is understood Department for Communities and Local Government will shortly clarify the status of Eurocodes with regard to demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulations in a letter to all building-control authorities. The Institution of Civil Engineers and UK Wind Engineering Society are also planning a series of lectures for design engineers on the background to the new wind code.

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