Adaptable structures - what really is serviceability?


Since 1975, the British Group of IABSE has held a two day colloquium in Cambridge every summer for about 25 invited participants. The purpose of the event is to exchange views on a structural engineering theme of topical importance.


The Institution’s Structural Futures Committee, in conjunction with the IABSE British Group are hosting a discussion based on the theme of this year’s Henderson Colloquium: 'Adaptable structures - what really is serviceability?' The debate will focus on the leading issues raised including monitoring of existing and new structures, flexible use of structures, what governs serviceability, and use of new technologies.


The panel will seek to explore how well we understand what governs serviceability, and whether this should be driving design. Can increased monitoring of existing and new structures provide the data that allows for alterations to these rules? Can modern data analysis techniques allow us to update load factors on a regular or live basis based on current information? Can adaptable structures accommodate varying comfort requirements over a short time frame? How good are we at predicting the future use of our structures? What prospective new technologies are there that may improve serviceability performance? And ultimately, is there a new family of structures that:

  • Are designed for the first use load case

  • Have a lower embodied energy, material use and construction cost

  • Are designed for flexibility but future use is not pre-judged

  • Will be able to accommodate new technologies, and also contain monitoring to improve the global understanding of performance?

  • Are truly adaptable?

Watch online

This lecture will be livestreamed from 18:00 GMT. To view use the registration button, selecting registration type 'watch online'.

Please note that currently the livestream is not optimised for mobile/tablet viewing so we strongly recommend you to view via a PC/laptop.

Unable to watch live? The lecture will be added to the Institution’s YouTube channel after the event.

Photo copyright: Charles G. Young, Interactive Design, Architects

Event Information

Eventbrite - Earls Court Demolition

Event Status
Places Available

Event Date

17:30 for 18:00 start


The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PS

David Knight Director, Design & Engineering, Cake Industries; Ed Clark, Director, Arup & Chair, Structural Futures Committee; Neil Loudon, Group Manager – Structures Highways England; William Algaard, Associate Director, Arup; Michal Drewniok, Research Assistant in Civil Engineering, University of Cambridge; Ian Firth, Consultant, COWI

Event Contact
Events Team

Event Contact Email

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