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Eurocodes committee on course

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Membership of the strategy committee which will co-ordinate the construction industry’s response to the introduction of the Eurocodes has been finalised in what is seen as a significant move forward.

The steel industry is strongly represented in the committee, which has been set up by the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Establishment of the committee, which held its first meeting early last month, is seen in the industry as a positive move. It is a key element of the national strategy drawn up by the IStructE last year but there had been concern about delays in setting it up.

Its aim is to co-ordinate efforts of the structural engineering community to prepare itself for the introduction of Eurocodes, avoid duplication of effort and ensure the needs of industry are met.

Dr David Moore of the British Constructional Steelwork Association, who is on the committee in his capacity as chair of the IStructE codes panel, said: “It will be a co-ordinating committee rather than a doing committee, to ensure all the things that need to be in place for the Eurocodes to be used are in place,that each of the material sectors is doing what’s required, and make sure any gaps are filled.”

Initial priorities are finalising the National Annexes, which will contain information and values which are determined at national level, including some factors of safety; encouraging universities to develop educational material; and prioritising objectives for software suppliers, because software-writing capacity is limited.

Chairman is Professor David Nethercot of Imperial College. The 17 members include one representative each from the materials sectors and four IStructE members representing different types and sizes of structural engineering firms. Dr Roger Pope represents the Steel Construction Institute, Corus and the British Constructional Steelwork Association. Alan Rathbone of CSC represents software suppliers.

• Structural materials research organisations have agreed to work with the Eurocodes Expert website to deal with queries arising from the use of the Eurocodes. SCI’s John Moran said: “Eurocodes Expert is likely to become a hub dealing with low-level queries and routeing queries needing specialised knowledge to the sector experts, in return receiving a flow of information from the sectors.” The SCI has been asked to co-ordinate the materials associations’ response through Co-Construct. Eurocodes Expert has been set up by the ICE with ODPM funding as a reference site for users of the codes, but there had been concerns that it would compete with or duplicate efforts of the sectors’ own helplines.

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