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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
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.
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