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The Structural Engineer

Though some engineers object, most modern structural Codes or design standards use partial safety factors, i.e. y-factors. With certain exceptions, there are generally two y-factors - yf for loads and ym for resistances. J.C. Taylor

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The Structural Engineer

Partial safety factors (y-factors) first appeared as a coherent system for dealing with the uncertainties involved in structural design 30 years ago. For nearly a quarter of a century they have been a feature of at least some design Codes in the UK. They are now used for most main UK design Codes and many European Codes and are the approach adopted for the Eurocodes. Professor A.W. Beeby

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The Structural Engineer

A world-class facility has been developed by the Building Research Establishment at its Cardington laboratory near Bedford. This facility can be used for testing structures up to 10 storeys in height under static, dynamic, accidental and fire loads. A 1O-year research programme to study the behaviour of complete buildings includes tests on steel, reinforced concrete, timber and masonry buildings. The first test building is a steel-framed structure representing an ofice block. Construction of the building has started, and a 2-year programme of research encompassing vertical loading, serviceability, vibration, blast, and fire and smoke tests is planned. G.S.T. Armer and D.B. Moore

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Author – Armer, G S T;Moore, D B

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The Structural Engineer

The development of limit state design, based on partial safety factors, began in earnest with the formation of the European Committee for Concrete (CEB) in 1953. As far as many engineers are concerned, the limit state revolution is now all but over: permissible stress design is still in use, but most new Codes worldwide are based on the partial factor approach and it forms the basis of all the new draft structural Eurocodes. A.N. Beal

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The Structural Engineer

Popper has argued that the growth of scientific knowledge takes place as a result of the falsification of theories. Some of his ideas can be applied to engineering knowledge as well, but the falsification of the calculation procedure model (CPM) cannot actively sought. When engineering failures do occur, therefore, they provide invaluable opportunities for the growth of engineering knowledge, provided that we can isolate the component of the CPM that has been falsified. The two cases of failure discussed in this paper indicate that the design philosophy component of the CPM has been falsified. The two resulting suggestions for changing the CPM are (i) to control the progression of collapse in a structure so that greater warning given and (ii) to take into account the sensitivity to deviations from specifications when selecting structural alternatives. W.P.S. Dias

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Author – Dias, W P S

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The Structural Engineer

The Structural Engineer - what should be in it? The nature of the contents of the Institution’s journal has been discussed frequently in Verulam - e.g. reference to the journal for 18 August 1992 will reveal quite extensive correspondence on whether the technical papers are ‘too academic and on the production of ‘practical’ papers. Darryl Blackwood, of Manchester, expresses a desire for an even wider range of articles and features than at present appears: The image of the profession has been a source of concern of late. One of the vehicles which promotes the image of the structural engineer is The Structural Engineer. Verulam

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