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The Structural Engineer

In The Structural Engineer for July 1977 you report the discussion on the paper 'Structures for the Olympic Complex in Montreal 1976'. The contribution by my old friend Professor Happold contains an error of historical fact which should not go uncorrected. The yield line theory was not invented by Professor Johanssen, it was discovered by Aage Ingerslev who published it in your journal in 1923. W. Smyth

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The Structural Engineer

Defects in the foundations of a building may only begin to show themselves after the passage of several years and prima facie the eventual claim in damages by a plaintiff may well be statute-barred by the time relief is claimed. By section 2(1) Limitation Act 1939 no action in simple contract or tort may be brought after the expiration of six years from the date the cause of action accrues, and six years is but a short time in the life of a house. Does the cause of action, then, accrue to the plaintiff when the foundations were first inspected and passed as adequate? when the house is actually built? when the plaintiff purchases the house? or when structural faults start to manifest themselves? The House of Lords' decision in Anns 8 Others v Merton London Borough Council (1977) 2 WLR 1024, answers these questions and, some would argue, extends the liability of Councils. But before looking at this case it is necessary to trace the recent development of the principle that local authorities are under a common law duty to take reasonable care to see that building regulations are complied with and that if the council's surveyor negligently approves of foundations which result in a house being built and put on the market with a hidden defect likely to cause injury to a future purchaser, then the council will be liable to the house-purchaser for its surveyor's negligence. Margaret Rutherford

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Author – Rutherford, Margaret

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The Structural Engineer

This paper sets out in qualitative terms guidance for engineers in achieving the economic use of structural steelwork. It identifies the major cost items in the total construction process and emphasises the importance of their relative values. Then the cost items of the steelwork itself are given and discussed in detail and the paper indicates how money can be saved or wasted depending on the approach adopted by the designer. It indicates how a knowledge of the various steps involved in the steelwork contractor's function can be of great value in deriving the most economic structural solution. F.H. Needham

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Author – Needham, F H

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The Structural Engineer

Southampton lies on a peninsula between the Rivers Test and ltchen, and from ancient times a passenger ferry has plied across the mouth of the ltchen.

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The Structural Engineer

Peter Dunican, CBE, CEng, FistructE, FICE, of the Institution 1977-78 on 6 October FIEI succeeds Dr. W. Eastwood as President next and at an Ordinary Meeting at 6 pm that evening will give his Presidential Address 'Structural engineering-some social and political implications.'

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The Structural Engineer

Members of the Institution are employed on many varied tasks. In this paper first presented to the Study Group on the history of structural engineering, which meets under the Chairmanship of James Sutherland, I describe the work of a small group of engineers employed in a multi-disciplinary team within DAMHB which forms part of the Department of the Environment. R.L. Mills

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Author – Mills, R L

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The Structural Engineer

Last month this column passed on some interesting data and comment from Mr. F. D. Beresford ; he suggested that the assumed increase in strength of concrete over the years might be somewhat dubious and recommended the adoption of the 28 day value for design. Mr. Gordon Rose who initiated the discussion (February 77) returns to the subject, if not in the same vein, certainly with the same object. He writes: I would indeed prefer to respond to Mr. Murphy on the subject of longterm ageing rather than pursue the matter of cube/core; except to say that one could write a book mentioning all those who claim that 8 m is there to cover their particular deficiencies. (Come to think of it, I have written a book on it!). Verulam

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