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bring back British Standards in construction

Comment 23rd August 2010

Earlier this year, under an initiative from the previous Office Of the Deputy Prime Minister, British Standards were replaced by European Standards. This was supposed to make it more competitive for UK firms working in Europe.

EC standards that I am familiar with, and particularly EC7 on Geotechnics, are very academic and lack practicability. there is no real facility for engineers and architects to make judgements. All methods are prescribed. The techniques that are called for and lab equipment needed are not always the same as those that we are familiar with in UK.

Most importantly, very small projects such as school extensions or bus shelters or road signs, will require a degree of investigation and analysis that is uncalled for and very expensive. 

I believe that the cost of implementing EC7 will not affect major infrastructure projects or power stations but it will add at least 10-15% to simple projects and for some projects such as say adding a toilet at a school, the cost may be doubled.

I believe that the previous BS codes of practice were adequate and safe.

One could achieve a very large saving on Government projects by allowing engineers, designers and builders to continue to use British standards until such time as the EC standards can be simplified.

Finally, I work for a French firm in UK, Norway and China. I also carry out some work for other international clients. My belief is that other EC companies may not be implementing EC7 and its sister codes

So from the viewpoint of an international engineer with 40 years plus experience, bringing back British Standards would save the UK Taxpayer a lot of money.

Dr Denis McNicholl

MSc CEng FICE FIStructE FHKIE

www.dmcnicholl-technology.com 

 

Why does this matter?

Because to bring back British Standards in Construction would save time and money in public works and also  in private construction

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