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National Meeting debates Eurocodes

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BCSA’s annual National Meeting heard that the cost of adopting Eurocodes for a small design practice might be about £254,000.  The estimate, based on calculations made by Professsor David Nethercott, was made in a presentation to the meeting by Rollo Reid who argued for retaining the National Steelwork standards.

Dr Roger Pope gave a presentation on the development of Eurocodes which are now intended to replace National Standards in 2010. Professor Haig Gulvanessian argued for accepting and adopting the Eurocodes, saying whether you love them or hate them, they are coming anyway.

During a debate it was suggested whereas overall, Eurocodes would give similar answers to National Standards, in some cases they might result in heavier steel structures. One questioner from the floor asked why make the change if there will be little difference.

It was explained that the government signed the UK up to the Eurocodes as part of its policy to remove barriers to trade and create a level playing field within the European Union.

Following the Eurocodes debate presentations were made by Mr Eddie Hole of Corus Tubes on the CE Marking of steel sections and by BCSA’s Dr David Moore on the CE Marking of bolts and fabricated steelwork. Both speakers made it clear that while CE Marking is not mandatory in the UK, it is the only practical way to demonstrate compliance with both the Construction Products Directive and the Construction Products Regulations.

During the debate that followed it was clear that most people were unfamiliar with the processes of setting up a Factory Production Control system and obtaining 3rd party certification from a notified body. Chairman Richard Barrett brought the discussion to a conclusion by suggesting that BCSA should develop a strategy and a step by step procedure for CE Marking.

BCSA members can obtain copies of the presentations from David Moore.

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