Reaction to the Eurocodes

Unfortunately, many engineers' initial reaction to Eurocode 7 is a cross between The Eurocode Scream (see Figure 17.1) and the natural instinct of an ostrich, which , when frightened, buries its head in the sand. However, when the shock of the new is overcome, views change as the benefits of the Eurocodes become apparent.

The views of many engineers are based on limited knowledge of the Eurocodes and even less experience of using them in practice. Figure 17.2 summarizes some of the opinions that have been expressed in the civil engineering press regarding the impact of the Structural Eurocodes on civil engineering design.

Figure 17.1. 'The Eurocode Scream' by Jack Offord (after Edvard Munch) - a typical reaction to the complexity of Eurocode 7
The Eurocode Scream Jack Offord
Figure 17.2. Pros and cons of the Eurocodes

In our opinion, the Eurocodes provide a unified approach to civil and structural engineering design and bring greater consistency to our treatment of the ground and other structural materials (such as steel and concrete). As engineers become familiar with the numerous documents involved, any antipathy towards them will dissolve.

As evidence of this, we have recently completed a survey of over 400 delegates who have attended our training courses over a six month period. When asked 'What do you think the impact of Eurocode 7 will be on the foundation industry?', their responses were mainly positive (see table below). Several self-confessed sceptics have changed their views about the Eurocodes once their Principles have been explained and their flexibility revealed.

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