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Structural engineers use their skills and expertise to ensure that structures or structural components are serviceable and durable in addition to possessing adequate strength and stability. A well-designed structure is, traditionally, considered to be one that meets these requirements in the most economically efficient manner, least cost being the measure of value for money. Recently, however, the term ‘value for money’ has been broadened to take cognisance of socio-economic and political benefits. Governments have realised that there is cost to unemployment and poverty and that there is a price to be paid for the economic empowerment of marginalised communities. Accordingly, value for money is now assessed in a revised context.
Long-term creep deflections in 65 glued laminated (glulam) and solid timber beam specimens have been monitored under different environmental conditions over the past 8 years. The main variables were the ambient conditions, the size of section, the applied stress, surface coating, and type of timber. The creep behaviour of glulam in four real structures has also been monitored for up to 5 years. Results obtained from the 'laboratory'studies were used to develop a simple model for the prediction of creep. Comparisons with results from real structures give good support to the proposed model. Comparisons are also made with the provisions of Eurocode (EC) 5. H.M.S. Abdul-Wahab, G.D. Taylor, W.F. Price and D.J. Pope