Standards for buildings have over the centuries reflected the societal values and expectations of the day. Health and safety considerations have dominated the design considerations for the structural systems for building for the past few centuries. Fitness for purpose of such systems is assessed in terms of structural safety, serviceability and durability and, depending upon the design, nature and usage of buildings, fire safety, resistance to moisture penetration and constructibility might also be considered. Societal expectations of the 21st century demand that the structural system for buildings be not only fit for purpose in use but also contribute to sustainable development over life cycle. This paper proposes a performance framework within which the structural system of both new and existing buildings may be assessed in terms of both their fitness for purpose in use and their contribution to sustainable development over life cycle.
Ron Watermeyer, DEng, CEng, FSAICE, FIStructE, FICE
Director Soderlund and Schutte, Consulting Engineers, Johannesburg
Lam Pham, PhD, FIEA
Honorary Research Fellow, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems