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Industry to gain responsibility for Eurocode annexes

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The British Construction Steelwork Association, Corus and the Steel Construction Institute have been given a strong indication from the government that a contract will be let to them to develop the National Annexes to the steel and composite Eurocodes. The expected decision, by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and BSI, has been welcomed by the industry.

BCSA Director of Engineering Dr David Moore said “We are delighted that the Government recognises the importance of the Eurocodes and that it is giving some priority to supporting the implementation of the Eurocodes in collaboration with the steel industry.”

The National Annexes set out Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs) — aspects of the codes which are not harmonised across Europe. They include factors of safety and other parameters such as the scope of alternative design methods.

The contract is expected to apply to parts 1.1 and 1.2 of EC3 (steel structures) and EC4 (composite steel and concrete structures) covering general rules, rules for buildings, and fire design, and in addition EC3 part 1.8 covering joint design, and part 1.10 on material toughness and through thickness properties.

SCI senior manager for standards Charles King said once the award was confirmed there would be a calibration process in which the results of designs to BS5950 would be compared with the equivalent design to the  Eurocodes. “Where differences occur they will be examined to decide why they occur. Where they occur because the Eurocodes are founded on better information, NDPs might be adjusted.”

The object will be to set NDPs to strike a balance between safety and economy, but where there is information to support changes that may result in more economical designs, it will be possible to choose values for NDPs to allow engineer to take advantage of this.

He added: “Because the codes have been in development for so long, people already know pretty well the areas where we should focus efforts.”

Results will be presented to BSI committees for scrutiny, and the annexes will be circulated as drafts for public comment. It is expected that the entire process will take about 18 months, allowing the National Annexes to be published in 2007.

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