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The Structural Engineer

Early involvement of specialist suppliers is important in cladding projects, allowing different details, or construction sequences, or component sizes to be suggested which may save money and time. A case in point is an office development at 136-150 Victoria Street in London. Mike Downing

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The Structural Engineer

This paper is concerned with the effects of gas explosions in buildings, the design guidance given in the UK, and that which is proposed for Europe. With the imminent requirement to assess the European prestandard on accidental actions due to impact and explosion, this subject is now important throughout Europe and a consideration of current UK regulations is both timely and necessary. The paper describes the development of the UK regulations related to disproportionate collapse and the proposed European requirements for considering gas explosions in design. To provide information in support of future developments, the paper considers the frequency and severity of gas explosions in the UK, based on survey data compiled since 1971. This facilitates an evaluation of the risks involved with this type of accidental action. The different types of explosion which can occur and the likely pressures to be encountered are examined and used to interpret the information from the reported incidents. This suggests a variety of options which may be considered for future regulations. These are discussed, together with the implications of adopting the current European proposals. B.R. Ellis and D.M. Currie

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The Structural Engineer

The National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield is due to open in Spring 1999. The £80m project was the subject of a competition by the developers, Music Heritage Ltd in 1996, which was won by architects Branson Coates, structural engineers Buro Happold and contractor HBG construction.

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The Structural Engineer

There is a particular sense of historical continuity in building in the City of London. For example, the imposing, recently completed Governor’s House takes its name from the fact that it is built on the site of the Roman Governor’s house, and the nearby Aldercastle development is on the site of the associated Roman barracks. Kathy Stansfield

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The Structural Engineer

Improvements in competitiveness and sustainability of concrete construction have in the past been achieved through research and development undertaken in concrete technology, structural design, and the construction process. These areas of research have received sponsorship from private and public sectors with a general belief that the research in the individual fields could be initiated, planned and funded separately and that progress can be achieved by simply combining the outputs sequentially. Such an approach would appear to ignore the need for integration and collective consideration of research in these fields, which is arguably the most effective way to serve the concrete industry as a whole towards achieving the following basic expectations concerning its competitiveness and the principles of sustainable development: (1) Concrete construction should be economical, efficient and high-tech. (2) Present practices in concrete construction should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and, therefore, the concrete industry should seek to make optimum use of materials (cement and steel) and minerals (sand and gravel, and crushed rock) and take measures for management of waste, e.g. reducing waste, recycling concrete aggregate, and reusing other waste products. S.B. Desai

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The Structural Engineer

The fire which consumed part of Windsor Castle in November 1992 provided a rare opportunity to observe the aftermath of a real fire in a building which incorporated structural metalwork dating back to the late 1820s. Much of the metalwork was of contemporary design and considered at that time to be ‘fireproof’. This paper discusses the origin of metalwork, its incorporation into the historic fabric, its performance under fire load, its collateral fabric damage, and its retention or replacement. Forensic techniques are described which gave the engineer an insight into the fire conditions experienced by the metalwork and how an assessment was made of components which were to be retained. New steelwork of current design is now incorporated in a way which draws upon an understanding of how metalwork behaves in historic masonry surroundings. D. Dibb-Fuller, R. Fewtrell and R. Swift

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