16 Jul 2020
The current Eurocode 2 was published in 2004 and requires updating to reflect developments both in our understanding of concrete behaviour and in the materials we use. The update, which started several years ago, is approaching a significant milestone.
Subject to some final edits the current programme has the full draft of the code being approved for “Enquiry” towards the end of this year. Once approved the document will be checked and translated into French and German and then published for Enquiry in the middle of next year.
Enquiry stage allows for wider distribution and comment. Those comments will be assessed, and any required revisions carried out such that a final vote can hopefully be positive at the end of 2022. The code will then be made available to the National Standards Bodies (BSI for the UK) in early 2023.
Once the final document is with the National Standards Body, they will be required to produce National Annexes and, if required, Non-Contradictory Complimentary Information (NCCI) similar to the current BSI publication PD6687. In fact, the National Standards Body has until the end of 2027 to publish the revised code but it is hoped that in the UK this can be achieved significantly earlier.
So, whilst the published version of the next generation of Eurocode 2 may still be some way off, the content and form of the document is already relatively fixed. Significant changes in the current draft include a redrafting of the clauses on shear without shear reinforcement and for punching shear, the new methods closely follow the critical shear crack theory documented in the FiB model code .
There has been some development in the approach to controlling crack widths with more information on early thermal and shrinkage restraint cracking. There are also new sections on fibre reinforced concrete (FRP), stainless steel reinforcement, recycled aggregates and assessment of concrete structures. Another significant change is that bridges are dealt with as an annex to the main code rather than as a separate document.
Some of these topics and changes may not make the final version, particularly if supporting material standards are not developed quickly enough, but it is clear to see that when it finally arrives the new version of Eurocode 2 will be significantly different to the document we use today.
The Concrete Centre has been and is supporting the ongoing development of the draft, representing the UK on a number of the relevant committees and task groups and collating comments from other UK experts on the various interim drafts.
For more information on the resources available for the current version of Eurocode 2, please visit our Eurocode 2 Concrete Compass page.
Written by - Tony Jones, principal structural engineer at The Concrete Centre