Article Geotechnical

AGS Bitesize Guides – Introduction – prEN 1997:202x

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The second-generation of Eurocodes is proposed as the first major revision of the Eurocode suite of standards since original publication in 2004. This process has been underway for at least 10 years. Initially this comprised a series of Evolution Groups, set up by all the major National Standards Bodies [including BSI], tasked with reviewing the first-generation Eurocodes and identifying area where improvements, clarification, simplification, and harmonisation could be applied to improve the documents. Proposals were then passed to Task Groups for updating and preparing new drafts. The final process was a series of reviews by both the public and by the National Standards Bodies themselves [in UK by the BSI Committee B/526].

The Structural Eurocodes are a series of interlocking standards that interact as a whole and require designers to have access to and understand many different codes which link to yet more material, execution, and testing codes. The draft prEN 1997 is a work in progress and currently comprises three parts as follows:

prEN 1997-1:202x         Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design — Part 1: General rules

prEN 1997-2:202x         Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design — Part 2: Ground properties

prEN 1997-3:202x         Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design — Part 3: Geotechnical structures

prEN 1997 in turn is dependent on the over-arching Eurocode EN 1990, now titled ‘Basis of Structural and Geotechnical Design’. EN 1990 is an integral part of design to prEN 1997. BS EN 1990:2023 was published by BSI in August 2023.

Details of the timeline for final completion and publication of prEN 1997 has been given by Andrew Bond [chair of B/526 and past-chair of TC250/SC7] in a recent article published in Ground Engineering [November 2023 pp30-32]. Some topics were covered by the recent AGS webinar [September 2023] and parallel webinars held by NEN [Nederlands Normalisatie Instituut], acting as Secretariat for the revisions to prEN 1997.

Because of the imminent publication date and the large number of new topics, revisions to layout and structure and introduction of some new concepts, the AGS Geotechnical Working Group thought it timely to issue a series of Bitesize Guides covering prEN 1997. These are intended to introduce topics selected from the current drafts and to give personal views and understanding of the requirements gleaned from the code as actually written. It is believed that review and comments from representative members of the target audience rather than knowledgeable experts closely involved in the development will help to identify areas of ambiguity or lack of clarity. Finally, the publication of bitesize guides will hopefully generate some discussion and dialogue from other members of AGS.

The bitesize guides can be downloaded from the AGS website here.

Article provided by Chris Raison, Raison Foster Associates