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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.
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 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