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Announcements (24 Feb 2017)

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Disclaimer: The purpose of this forum is to collect comments and suggestions for the upcoming revision of Eurocode 8. SECED does not assume any liability for any posts or comments placed in the forum by its users.

Introduction

Welcome to the Eurocode 8 Forum

by Dr Andrew Mair
Chairman of SECED 2012-2014

Design codes invariably evolve with time reflecting our increased understanding of the subject matter and technological advances. The Eurocode suite of documents (EN 1990 – 1999) along with their respective National Annexes was a long time in development, finally becoming a reality as a fully published suite in the UK in 2010. Given the scope of the Eurocode suite and the need to harmonise standards across the European Union, a significant effort went into their development, drafting and testing, which is reflected in the time period from gestation to final publication. This is particularly the case with Eurocode 8, where the subject matter is perhaps not as well understood as the behaviour of structural materials like concrete and steel, and where national codes did not exist, or were of limited scope and depth, often reflecting the construction practices of a particular country.

Whilst all documents in the Eurocode suite have undergone a rigorous process of development, drafting and testing before publication, it is only through their application by practising engineers on real projects that areas for improvement become apparent, whether it is potential errors, the need for clarification, or an omission that needs to be addressed. Against this background there is a need to collate comments from code users and compile these into a coherent list of improvements and developments to be implemented in future updates of the documents.

In terms of seismic engineering SECED is the UK national body of the European Association for Earthquake Engineering (EAEE) and the International Association for Earthquake Engineering, and is the representative body of practising seismic engineers in the UK. In this respect it is the logical body to collate comments on the use of Eurocode 8. SECED is pleased to host this facility for collating comments on Eurocode 8. The comments will be passed to the UK National Committee on Eurocode 8 (B/525/8), and where appropriate forwarded to the main European Committee (SC8) for consideration.

Thank you for taking the time to engage in the ongoing development of Eurocode 8.


Update (January 2016) on the current revision process of Eurocode 8

by Edmund Booth
Chairman of the B/525/8 sub-committee

The evolution process of the Eurocodes is now well underway. Project Teams (PTs) for the first phase of the redrafting process have now been appointed and have started work, while invitations to apply for places on the Phase 2 PTs are expected to be issued in the spring of 2016. Public enquiries, asking for comments on the current versions of the Eurocodes to feed into the relevant PTs, have now been completed for Phases 1 &2, and that for Phase 3 is expected to be launched in the first half of next year. Feedback via this forum on all parts of EC8, including comments on possible changes and additions to the existing text, continue to be very welcome, since they will be valuable to B/525/8, the BSI sub-committee responsible for EC8, as it considers the drafts issued by the PTs, a process that will be on-going over the next four years.

The table below gives an indication of the overall timetable for the redrafting process.

Phase

Part of Eurocode 8 involved

UK involvement in PTs

Milestone

1

2

3

1

Part 1 – material independent (Chapters 1 -4,10) (PT 1)

Part 3 – assessment and retrofit of buildings and bridges (PT 3)

Andreas Kappos – leader PT 3

Sept 2015

April 2017

Oct 2017?

2

Part 1 – material dependent (Chapters 5-9) (PT 2)

Part 5 – geotechnics (PT 4)

??

August 2016?

March 2018?

End 2018?

3

Part 2 – bridges (PT 6)

Part 4 – silos, tanks, pipelines (PT 5)

Part 6 – chimneys, towers, masts

??

Summer 2017?

Spring 2019?

Late 2019?

4

(There are no parts of EC8 in Phase 4)

 

Milestones:

1)      Project Team (PT) starts work

2)      PT issues complete draft for comment and approval by CEN (European Standardisation Committee) technical subcommittee SC8.

3)      SC8 ratifies draft after receiving national input (from B/525/8 in the case of the UK).

4)      Common to all phases: final drafts of EC8 will be submitted to national standards bodies (BSI in the case of UK) for ratification by formal national vote by around 2020. Assuming approval, the new edition of EC8 is expected to be issued for general use some time after 2021.


Some notes on the current revision process for the Structural Eurocodes, including Eurocode 8

by Edmund Booth
Chairman of the B/525/8 sub-committee

  1. Two processes are involved. Firstly, an ‘evolution process’ will be set in motion by CEN (the European Standardisation Body), which is likely to receive some funding from the European Commission.
  2. Separately and concurrently, there is a ‘systematic review’, which is unfunded. This has been completed for EC8 Parts 1, 3 and 5, with the remaining parts to follow.
  3. CEN have produced a technical proposal for the evolution of all the Eurocodes, including EC8, which is the basis of their request for money from the Commission.
  4. Project Teams, with some funding, are being formed to draft the new versions of the Eurocodes; the first teams started work in October 2015.
  5. The evolution process is heavily constrained for all the Eurocodes:
    1. ‘Stability’ of the Eurocodes is seen as essential – i.e. radical changes are not envisaged, so that design engineers are not faced with having to accommodate yet another major change of practice.
    2. ‘Ease of use’ is stated to be a paramount objective.
    3. Reduction in the number of NDPs (the nationally determined parameters appearing in the National Annexes to each Eurocode) is the other paramount objective.
    4. CEN’s proposal to the Commission for EC8’s evolution constrains matters further.
    5. Notwithstanding the requirement for stability, new material will be introduced. Most relevant to EC8 is the introduction of provisions for retrofitting; this applies to all structural materials. EC8 of course already has retrofit provisions for buildings, but these are to be extended to cover bridges as well.
  6. The systematic review takes the form of a line by line review of the Eurocodes, and in principle may cover any aspect. The BSI (British Standards Institution) sub-committee responsible for EC8 (B/525/8) has been tasked with preparing responses to the following questions:
    1. Do any clauses require editorial or technical correction?
    2. Which clauses would benefit from improvements in clarity?
    3. Where should the scope of the EN be extended?
    4. Where could the EN be shortened?
    5. Are there any clauses whose application leads to uneconomic construction?
    6. Are there any clauses whose application necessitates excessive design effort?
  7. Identification of parts of the code that work well, as well as comments on those parts that need changing, are invited.
  8. B/525/8 responses on the questions listed above are passed on to the main BSI Structural Eurocodes committee (B/525), which in turn submits a UK response to CEN covering all the Eurocodes. Where appropriate, B/525/8 prepares specific proposals for changes to address any issues raised in answering these questions, and will also prepare supporting justification where relevant, using the generic comments template. Note that comments must be classified as ‘general’, ‘technical’ or ‘editorial’.
  9. The revised and internationally approved version of EC8 is unlikely to be available before 2020.
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