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To celebrate the 9th centenary of the commencement of construction of the present cathedral, a conference on ‘Engineering a cathedral’ was held in Durham in September. The formal papers, ranging from accounts of the history to analyses of structural behaviour and discussions of design and maintenance, were preprinted with a foreword by the Bishop’. There were also less formal opening and closing remarks by Dr Rowland Mainstone and the Bishop. Published here is a summary of Dr Mainstone’s remarks: I have been asked to look at the wider engineering background. The papers most concerned with structural behaviour analyse it - or envisage its analysis - in terms of our current theoretic understanding. This understanding, so necessary to most current design, is very largely the product of the past 300 years. If nothing like it existed 900 years ago, what, if anything, was there in its place? Gravity acted then as now and was no more forgiving. The artist could imagine and paint a new Jerusalem almost as he pleased. But the builder could not if his work was to stand. R.J. Mainstone
It is proposed in EC6 "Design of masonry structures" that the characteristic compressive strength of masonry is given by the equation in the title of this paper. This equation is based mainly on the results of physical experiments conducted in many countries and is known to give satisfactory results for practical purposes. The aim of the study reported here is to critically examine the above equation from the point of view of theoretical engineering mechanics and to investigate as to which mechanical parameters describing both masonry units and mortar influence the compressive strength of structural masonry. G.N. Pande, B. Kralj and J. Middleton
Castle Mall, an urban shopping centre of 110 000 m2 retail, services and carpark space, opened in September. It has been constructed on a site immediately south of the Norman Motte and Bailey Castle - a site that, 4 years ago, was a surface carpark and criss-crossed by roads. Now on the surface it is a city centre park with a 100 m glazed pavilion, boundary roads and some new shopping buildings on a scale with the surrounding two- and three-storey structures. Below the surface is a four-level retail centre extending across the entire 2.5 ha site. It has been constructed up to 20 m into the ground on a site of significant archaeological interest. A.D.W. Broomhead and W.J. Grose