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Verulam

Storm damage The 5 January issue of Structural News contained a report of a discussion held at the Institution on the damage caused in south-east England by the storm of 16 October last. Reported conclusions were that ‘engineered structures withstood the effects of the storm with little or no primary damage’ and that ‘modern structures designed using the Code’ (CP3: Chap V: Part 2: 1972) ’behaved well when properly constructed’. In our issue of 15 March, Mr L. Metter argued that the latter conclusion was misleading, since the survival of structures designed to the 1952 wind Code showed that the more demanding 1972 Code is ‘both onerous and incorrect’. John Mayne, of the Building Research Station, cautions against necessarily drawing such a conclusion: While Mr Metter is undoubtedly correct when he states that the October storm tested many buildings designed to the 1952 wind loading Code, as well as the 1972 Code, the corollary, in his last paragraph, that this lends ‘further weight to the view generally held by practising engineers that the 1972 Code in respect of wind loading is both onerous and incorrect’ is not valid. His letter betrays a misunderstanding of the way in which codified design procedures contribute to overall levels of structural safety. Verulam