Influencing The Next Eurocodes
Did you know that the target audience of the Eurocodes are “Component Engineers with more than 5 years experience”?
It’s funny to think that the Eurocodes, which were so cutting-edge when I was at University that I was barely taught about them, actually begun life 12 years before I was born. It’s even stranger when you consider that the second generation will be here in less than six years. It is this next edition, and the huge opportunity we have to influence it now, which I want to bring to your attention.
There are a few things that have already been pencilled in for the next generation. We’ll be able to officially design in Glass, FRP and use membrane structures. We’ll also be able to assess existing structures, and verify the robustness and climate change effects of our designs. On a more structurally specific view, improvement and additions to guidance for bearings, expansion joints, integral and cable-stayed bridges, fatigue, axial loading in composite sections and foot bridge vibration is also planned.
The BSI have given engineers until the 15th of August to provide feedback as part of the Eurocodes 2014 Systemic Reviews.
The most important goal for this iteration is to make the Eurocodes easier to use. Aside from a continuing commitment to authors of supporting documentation and training courses, the steering committee will also look for ways to improve clarity and make the documents quicker to navigate. On a technical note this includes distributing the XML versions of the codes; potentially allowing for ‘smarter’ digital versions.
As part of this process the BSI is doing something that (in my experience, at least) is unprecedented: It is actually asking engineers to tell them what they think of the Eurocodes, and how they can be improved. Obviously foreseeing a landslide of “I hate them and everything that changes“, they have limited responses to a pro-forma of six questions:
- Do any clauses require editorial or technical correction?
- Which clauses would benefit from improvements in clarity?
- Where should the scope of the EN be extended?
- Where could the EN be shortened?
- Are there any clauses whose application leads to uneconomic construction?
- Are there any clauses whose application necessitates excessive design effort?
The BSI have given engineers until the 15th of August to provide feedback as part of the Eurocodes 2014 Systemic Reviews, and I urge anyone who has ever complained or lost hours bewildered using this suite (lit. everyone) to chip-in now and make a difference: