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The Structural Engineer

In the autumn of 1996, amended British Standards and new Eurocode Drafts for Development were issued on the subjects of dead loads (self-weight) and imposed loads for buildings. This paper presents the principal changes to the British Standards and discusses briefly the approach adopted in the development of national guidance for the European prestandards. D.M. Currie

The Structural Engineer

Partnering is essentially a management approach. Its purpose is to encourage the recognition of shared objectives, open behaviour and the development of new ideas to provide a framework for continuous improvements in productivity and efficiency. Its great benefit lies in its flexibility and in the dynamic nature of the relationship between the parties. This is hardly the stuff of which the formality of legally binding contracts are made. Lawyers enter here at their peril. Peter Long

The Structural Engineer

It is proposed that the provision of adequate safety in structures depends on the satisfaction of three independent requirements: adequate safety factors, adequate control of the design and construction process, and adequate robustness. Only the first of these is currently susceptible to quantitative treatment. A proposal for the more rigorous, quantitative treatment of robustness is developed. It is suggested that most failures result from errors and that the risks to health and safety from failures result largely from insuficient robustness. The risks from failure may not be greatly changed by changes in safety factor. Professor A.W. Beeby

The Structural Engineer

Sulfate attack of concrete has long been recognised and is minimised in the UK by following best practice guidance. Since 1990, however, a few cases of a new form of attack - the thaumasite form of sulfate attack (TSA) - have been discovered in buried concrete. Deterioration of the concrete foundations to three domestic properties in the Cotswolds area was reported by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). During 1998, TSA was discovered in the foundations of a number of 30-year old bridges on the M5 in Gloucestershire. The Thaumasite Expert Group

The Structural Engineer

O2 emissions Professor Arthur Bolton has written from Edinburgh: We hear a lot about greenhouse gases nowadays, especially from commentators who understand little about it. A recent TV presentation showed dramatic pictures of buildings on the east coast falling down cliffs into the sea and pictures of 20ft waves breaking over sea walls. The commentator’s point was that it was all due to global warming, with the ‘proof’ being that the sea level had risen 5mm during the last 50 years. Engineers know that a depression over the North Sea can cause a surge of value many dozens of times this figure - so what is the real situation?