EUROCODE – a practical arrangement

The second generation of Eurocodes should be easy to handle by engineers working in practice. The structure of the EUROCODES should be the same for the various materials (masonry, concrete, steel, timber etc.).

The Eurocodes should have a slim main body, which should allow 80% of daily building tasks to be carried out, while offering more detailed notes in normative annexes.

The structuring or concept is similar to a structural engineer’s approach

Simple dimensioning equations are sufficient for the dimensioning of a construction. „Conservative dimensioning“ leads to a robust construction, which will  guarantee load-bearing safety even in unpredicted load-bearing situations, e.g. during a refurbishment or a conversion to new use. To avoid critical situations, there should be load reserves. The structural engineer is familiar with the overall construction, also with regards to other requirements (e.g. with respect to building physics) or other aspects that need to be considered for the construction.  The structural engineer recognises, where it might be possible to use smaller cross sections or less fasteners.

The approach enables an economic construction

An economic construction does not mean using the smallest cross sections everywhere or the lowest number of fasteners. It means that taking into account all requirements, including all structural requirements, a construction can be planned within a reasonable time requirement

Research results from the last few years need to be considered

Substantial investments have been made into research and development over the last 20-30 years. These results must be accessible in the future and we must ensure that they do not fall victim to a pragmatic standardization of dimensioning.

Therefore, more detailed evidence should be included in normative annexes.Publishing these in secondary literature would not be expedient, as the literature would have to be translated into various languages, making it more difficult to use these detailed records.

At the same time, it is questionable, whether the evidence would be approved in each individual country. It is therefore important that the evidence is accessible to all in form of normative annexes, thus ensuring that there is no problem with regards to the translation or the approval within each country. 

Language versions are important

As mentioned before, it is important that evidence is available in all language versions. To gain approval in the various countries, it is also important that a standard is agreed by a norm committee, i.e. by experts in the field.

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