8 February 2008
South Africa has to a large extent based its structural codes of practice on that of the United Kingdom. The UK along with other members of the European community is moving towards the implementation of the Structural Eurocodes. (Most of the base Eurocodes are already published and that it is anticipated that by 2008, all the Eurocodes will be able to be used for designing buildings and civil engineering structures in the UK as they will have national Annexes.) Singapore and Vietnam have adopted the Eurocodes. Several countries including Malaysia, Hong Kong and some of the middle east states are also moving toward the adoption or adaptation of these codes, while other such as China, Russia, India and Australia are giving the matter serious consideration.
South Africa is different to the UK and other European nations in that it is not obliged to adopt the Eurocode. Accordingly, each structural code covering concrete, steel, masonry, timber, aluminum and bridges needs to decide to adopt one of three options:
Option 1: Adopt the Eurocodes and produce a National annex to address South African conditions
Option 2: Develop a South African code based on the Eurocodes
Option 3: Update and revise the existing South African codes
This summit will seek to resolve which of the options should be pursued in each disciple / subdiscipline and to identify the strategy and time table to implement each option.
The Joint Structural Division is arranging the summit. SABS has kindly agreed to host the summit which will take place on:
Date: 8 February 2008
Time: 9:00 to 16:30 (Registration 8:30 to 9:00)
Place: SABS Club on the SABS campus, 1 Dr Lategan Road Groenkloof, Pretoria
The revised SANS 10160, Basis of structural design and actions for buildings and industrial structures, which is Eurocode compatible, is scheduled for publication at the end of 2008. The geotechnical Eurocode may be used once SANS 10160 has been published. South Africa will probably adopt the Eurocodes for concrete, steel, timber, masonry, aluminum and containment structures over the next few years starting with the concrete code possibly in the latter half of 2010. The next version of bridge codes may well adopt or adapt the Eurocodes in the next 5 to 10 years.
It was stressed at the summit that there is no urgency to adopt the structural Eurocodes and South Africa would do well to lag behind the implementation timetables for the United Kingdom to benefit from the supporting documentation, guides and software that is developed in that country to facilitate the effective implementation of the Eurocodes. There is, however, a need for industry to start working towards the adoption of these codes and to commence with the alignment of materials standards to these codes.