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Establishment

Synopsis

Profession of the forthcoming Eurocode for the Design of Concrete Structures

EC2 which will in a few years replace the existing British code BS8110.

The two codes are compared in the context of design of primary structural

elements and information is given on the availability of design aids to assist

the practitioner in becoming familiar with and using the new code.

Keywords

Introduction

The ENV version of Eurocode 2 Part 1 General Rules and Rules for Buildings

has been around for some years as a draft for development. A National

Application Document (NAD) was prepared to be used in conjunction with the

ENV and together with the main document was published by BSI in 19921.

The intention was that this document would be trialled on real structures and it

is referred to in Approved Document A of the Building Regulations. However

use of the existing ENV is believed to have been very limited.

requirements of the Construction Products Directive, considerable effort has

been expended in recent years in converting the ENV version of the code into

a full EN. The EN status means that eventually the code will become

normative if and when it is accepted by formal voting. For practical purposes

normative in the UK means that it will have the same status as and eventually

replace BS8110.

Timetable for the introduction of EC2

The EN versions of Part 1 and 1.2 of the code dealing with fire have been

through several draft revisions and are now being finalised1. The target date

for publication of these Parts of the code is Summer 2003.

There will be National Annexes to accompany each part of the code, which

will include values for what are called Nationally Determined Parameters. In a

similar way to the NAD the intention is that the code will be used with the

appropriate National Annex in each member state.

make them available for Public Comment through BSI when the main code is

issued.

Grades of concrete

EC2 allows benefits to be derived from using high strength concretes, which

BS8110 does not. Concrete strengths are referred to by cylinder strengths,

which are typically 10-20% less than the corresponding cube strengths. The

maximum characteristic cylinder strength fck permitted is 90N/mm2, which

corresponds to a characteristic cube strength of 105N/mm2.

Part 1 of EC2 specifically does not cover this and a separate standard (termed

an Execution Standard) has been prepared. This is currently in ENV form and

a national document based on the existing National Structural Concrete

Specification2 is in preparation and is expected to be available towards the

end of 2003.

One issue, which does need to be considered as part of the main code, is the

tolerance on cover. Cover to meet durability and bond requirements is

specified as a minimum value with a tolerance of up to 10mm to be added on

top. This is in contrast to BS8110 where cover is specified as a nominal value

and a tolerance of 5mm accepted. In situations where good quality control is

exercised there is scope for reducing the tolerance.

This paper does not consider this topic, and in making comparisons between

BS8110 and EC2 assumes that covers and dimensions of members are

largely unaffected by the changed design process.

1

The full references are EN1992-1-1 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures - Part 1:

General rules and rules for buildings and EN 1992-1-2 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete

structures Part 1.2: General rules – structural fire design

In Part 2 of EC2 there is a prescriptive method encompassing simplified

approaches based on covers and member dimensions, which is broadly

similar to the approach taken in BS8110. There are however also more

sophisticated performance based methods that can be used and the

information is much more extensive than in Part 2 of BS8110.

engineers in relation to this topic.

Professor Narayanan3.

In making comparisons between BS8110 and EC2 this paper assumes that

covers are largely unaffected by the changed design process. Simplified

guidance to enable engineers to specify appropriate grades of concrete for

particular exposure conditions with appropriate covers is in course of

preparation and will be included within the National Annex to the code.

being considered more explicitly. For example the code has classifications

based around potential deterioration mechanisms and the designer should

identify the most severe conditions in any particular case, rather than simply

assessing the environmental exposure.

The concept of an explicitly defined design life and the recognition of the need

to take additional measures if this design life is required to be significantly

exceeded must be seen as a positive step forward.

As with BS8110 EC2 uses a basic material partial safety factor γm for concrete

of 1.5. Several years ago the material partial safety factor for reinforcing steel

in BS8110 was reduced from 1.15 to 1.05. EC2 uses a value of 1.15 although

this is subject to a National Annex. This is unlikely to have any practical

impact however as steel intended to meet the existing yield strength of

460N/mm2 assumed by BS8110 is likely to be able to meet the 500N/mm2

assumption made by EC2, so that the design yield strength fyd will be virtually

identical.

In due course these will be given by EC1. The comparisons made in this

paper in general consider only the resistance side of the equation although

some mention is made of the partial load factors to be used. It is worth noting

that a value of 25kN/m3 is taken for the density of normal weight concrete as

opposed to the currently assumed value of 23.6 kN/m3.

The combined impact of the partial load factors in conjunction with values for

basic design loads and other items such as column load reduction factors and

the assessment of slenderness in column members has been considered as

part of a separate small-scale study in relation to a whole building design. The

building studied was a typical RC framed flat slab structure.

The conclusions from this study were that, at least for the particular building

studied, the overall impact of using EC2 instead of BS8110 was minimal.

BS8110. Where EC2 differs, as with the ENV, is that it does not generally give

element specific design guidance, but more the general principles to be

applied. This approach should be welcomed, as it is less restrictive and may

encourage innovative design methods.

Several options are given for the type of stress-strain relationship that may be

assumed for concrete. In many cases the designer is likely to opt for the

simple rectangular stress block.

The stress block used in EC2 is compared with that in BS8110 below.

There has been some debate as to what is the most appropriate value to take

for αcc. The recommended value in the code is 1.0 but it is likely that the UK

National Annex will require a value of 0.85 to be used. The parameter η has

been introduced into EC2 and in combination with modification of the value for

λ has the effect of reducing the allowable concrete force for higher strength

concretes (above C50/60).

The following basic equations may be derived for the design of elements in

flexure.

M α cc xmaxηλ λx

K= K '= d − max

bd 2 f ck d γc

2

2

d γc

z= 1 + 1 − 2 (min K , K ') ≤ 0.95d

2 ηα cc

M 2 = bd 2 f ck (K − K ') ≥ 0

M2

As2 =

f sc (d − d 2 )

M −M2 f

As = + As 2 sc

f yd z f yd

In these equations xmax is the maximum neutral axis depth permissible before

compression steel is to be provided. This in turn depends on the amount of

redistribution assumed. The effect of redistribution is dependent on the

concrete strength with one set of values up to and including C50 and a

differing set of values for higher concrete strengths. The values are subject to

a National Annex, and the UK recommended values for strengths up to C50

lead to the following equation:

xmax = (δ - 0.4)d

where for example δ =1.0 means no redistribution and δ = 0.8 means 20%

redistribution. This is basically the same equation as in BS8110. It may also

be considered advisable to set some upper limit on xmax regardless of the

amount of negative redistribution (i.e. redistributed M being greater than

elastic M).

strain of the concrete, which for strengths above C50 reduces from 0.0035.

fsc is the design stress in the compression steel, which for concrete strength

grades up to C50 may be calculated from:

Parametric studies have been carried out looking at the impact of the different

stress block on the design of rectangular beams using linear elastic analysis

with limited redistribution. In these studies αcc was taken as 1.0 and the

redistribution formula was taken as xmax = (δ - 0.4)d with xmax limited to 0.6d.

The conclusion from this study was that there was very little practical

difference between EC2 and BS 8110. This conclusion can also be

reasonably extended to solid slabs designed using linear elastic analysis with

limited redistribution.

Span/depth ratios

In both BS8110 and EC2 the allowable span/depth ratio depends on concrete

strength and tension and compression reinforcement ratios. The attached

flowcharts show how the permissible span/depth ratio is arrived at in each

case.

comparing the provisions of the two codes in relation to the minimum

permitted depth of rectangular beams for a given span. The influence of

increasing the allowable tension steel was considered by allowing a maximum

increase of 100% (i.e. double) that required for the ultimate limit state,

although there is no upper limit stated in EC2. 20% redistribution was

assumed for all continuous spans.

The study showed that EC2 tended to be more conservative at low concrete

strengths. However EC2 permits much higher span/depth ratios for cantilevers

where a low reinforcement percentage is used, even restricting the maximum

enhancement in steel area. In practice however, economic rather than

minimum permissible depths will generally be used, and these are very similar

in both codes.

Shear

When checking normal shear, EC2 is the same as BS8110 in that there is a

shear stress below which only minimum shear reinforcement need be

provided. In EC2 as in BS8110 this shear stress depends on concrete

strength, effective depth and tension steel ratio.

The recommended design shear stress of the concrete alone for comparison

with the values of vc given in Table 3.8 of BS8110 is:

0.18

k (100 ρ l f ck )

1 3

v Rd ,c = 3 ≥ 0.035k 2

f ck

γc

Where k = 1 + √(200/d) ≤ 2

ρl = As /(bd) ≤ 0.02

The value 0.18/γc and the expression for the minimum concrete shear stress

are subject to the National Annex.

Choosing a value of 0.12 for 0.18/γc in the above equation, and the expression

for concrete shear stress as given above, BS8110 generally allows a higher

shear stress before shear steel is required. Because of the minimum shear

stress that can be carried, EC2 can however allow higher shear stresses for

low reinforcement percentages and this effect is accentuated the higher the

strength of the concrete.

EC2 differs from BS8110 in that above the limit at which the concrete alone

has sufficient capacity, the designed shear steel to be provided is determined

ignoring the contribution from the concrete. The design method used is known

as the variable strut inclination method and is based on a truss model.

For members not subjected to axial forces the required area of shear steel

needing to be provided in the form of links at a distance d from the support

face is given by:

This compares with the BS8110 equation:

The designer should choose an appropriate angle θ (the angle between the

assumed concrete compression strut and the main tension chord) to use in

the model. The limits on θ are between 22 and 45 degrees such that cot θ is

greater than or equal to1 but less than or equal to 2.5.

(maximum cot θ) should therefore be chosen within the limits above.

exceeded. In BS8110 this limit is 0.8√fcu ≤ 5 N/mm2. In EC2 this corresponds

to taking θ = 45 degrees, which gives a recommended upper limit to the shear

stress for non-prestressed members of:

0.45 ν fcd

where ν = 0.6(1-fck/250)

fcd = αccfck/γc

characteristic yield stress fyk, ν may be taken as:

ν = 0.6 up to C60

ν = 0.9 - fck/200 > 0.5 for grades above C60

The two codes have been compared choosing values of αcc = 0.85 and γc =1.5

and ignoring the increase allowable for ν if the stress in the shear steel is

restricted. EC2 will allow a smaller maximum shear capacity at low strengths

but a higher capacity at higher strengths principally arising from the cut off of 5

N/mm2 in BS8110.

The increase in the allowable shear stress becomes quite significant when

increased values of ν are permitted even ignoring the cut-off in BS8110 as

illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Comparison of maximum permissible shear stresses

14

12

10

Shear stress (N/mm )

2

8

EC2

EC2 shear steel stress restricted

BS8110 (40N/mm2 limit removed)

6

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

fck

For a given required shear capacity the amount of shear steel to be provided

when designing to EC2 is dependent on cot θ which should be maximised as

stated above. In practice the following inequality needs to be satisfied:

ω + ω2 −4

1 ≤ cot θ = ≤ 2 .5

2

0.9b w dνf cd

where ω = cot θ + tan θ =

V Ed

Indirectly the concrete strength can therefore influence the amount of shear

steel provided if cot θ needs to be less than 2.5 to satisfy the criterion on

maximum shear capacity.

The two codes can in general be expected to give similar results in terms of

the number and spacing of links to be provided.

designing a column under a known combination of moment and axial force.

For practical purposes as with BS8110 the rectangular stress block used for

the design of beams may also be used for the design of columns. However

unlike with BS8110 the maximum compressive strain when designing to EC2

will be less than 0.0035 if the whole section is in compression and will fall to

half this value (fck ≤ 50N/mm2) if the section is subject to pure compression as

illustrated below. This will affect the steel strains and hence forces which the

steel can carry.

N-M interaction charts for a 300mmx300mm section with these assumptions

have been produced taking a value of αcc= 0.85 and give close agreement

between EC2 and BS8110 as illustrated in Figure 2. The horizontal cut-off line

on the EC2 curve has little practical effect, as it will normally fall within the

zone of minimum applied moment.

d/h = 0.82 (alpha cc = 0.85)

40

35

30

N/bh (N/mm )

2

25 BS8110 4T32

20

15 EC2 4T32

10

5

0

0 2 4 6 8

2 2

M/bh (N/mm )

.

Dealing with slenderness

effective lengths in both directions. The effective lengths are in turn dependent

on whether the column may be assumed to be braced or unbraced (“non-

sway” or “sway” in EC2 terminology).

that are appropriate. β can range from 0.75 to 2.2. EC2 appears more

complicated in that an assessment needs to be made of the relative

flexibilities of the rotational restraints at each end of the column. However this

process can be simplified by making conservative assumptions.

Having determined the effective lengths the slenderness ratios can then be

calculated. In BS8110 the limits on slenderness ratio lex/h and ley /b are 15

(braced) and 10 (unbraced).

In EC2 the allowable slenderness ratio λ is calculated from l0/i where i is the

radius of gyration of the uncracked cross section. For a rectangular section

ignoring the reinforcement this simplifies to λ =3.464 l0/h where l0 is the

effective length. The slenderness should be checked in both directions.

Where the column is slender when designing to EC2 and using the nominal

curvature method which it is probably the most straightforward, the final

design moment is increased by the additional moment to account for second

order effects. Once this adjustment has been made the N-M interaction charts

may be used as before. The same approach is used for BS8110 except that

the second order moments will be calculated differently.

Biaxial bending

EC2 states that a separate design may initially be carried out in each principal

direction. Imperfections need be taken into account only in the direction where

they will have the most unfavourable effect.

λy / λx ≤ 2 and λx / λy ≤ 2

and (ey/h)/(ex/b) ≤ 0.2 or (ex/b)/(ey/h) ≤ 0.2

ex and ey are the effective total eccentricities including second order effects.

be used:

second order effects

symmetrically reinforced rectangular sections may be designed to withstand

an increased moment about one axis. It is known that this approach can be

unsafe in extreme circumstances, so the introduction of the above equation in

EC2 should be welcomed.

Strut and Tie models

These are beyond the scope of this paper. However it is hoped to include

some guidance on this in a future paper underpinning the provisions within the

National Annex for the code.

The UK has pushed for and has had accepted National Annex provisions for

all forms of ties except vertical ties, allowing the requirements to be brought

into line with BS8110. This issue will need to be revisited in the light of the

current proposed revisions to Approved Document A of the Building

Regulations.

Flat slabs

EC2 Part 1 now has an Informative Annex dealing with flat slabs which was

noticeably absent from the ENV version. The widths of column and middle

strips are the same as in BS8110. The percentages of moments carried by

these strips are given as ranges but the BS8110 values fall within these

ranges and hence may still be used.

The other major issue when designing flat slabs is dealing with punching

shear. The code provisions in EC2 dealing with this topic have recently been

revised and it is believed worthwhile to revisit the implications of these. Initial

indications are that EC2 is marginally more economic, mainly because the link

arrangements are more efficient. Detailing of links should also be easier.

The complete set of possible load combinations and load cases is obtained

from EN1990 Basis of Structural Design. In practice these can be simplified

greatly for the design of everyday building structures.

simplified load combinations of all spans and alternate spans loaded as per

BS8110 to be considered sufficient in the majority of cases.

For slabs the UK National Annex is currently permitting the all spans loaded

condition to be considered sufficient subject to the restrictions as currently

imposed in BS8110.

A major difference between the two codes is the partial safety factor

appropriate to the dead load for unloaded spans.

6.10a and 6.10b. Which equation is used has a bearing on the load factors

and the more complicated expressions 6.10a and 6.10b can offer some

additional potential economies to the designer.

In the simplest case using the basic equation 6.10 the values may be

summarised as below. In the table γG is the partial load factor appropriate to

dead loads and γQ that appropriate to imposed (live) loads.

EC2 BS 8110

Loaded spans: γG = 1.35, γQ = 1.5 γG = 1.4, γQ = 1.6

Unloaded spans: γG = 1.35 γG = 1.0

Strictly speaking the above table relates only to the design of loaded spans.

The design of unloaded spans should theoretically be considered separately

taking γG = 1.0 on all spans, but in practice this is very rarely likely to prove

the governing load case.

Detailing issues

It is believed that spacing rules may lead to more and smaller bars, unless

crack widths are checked.

flanges (both tension and compression).

familiar with and apply the code is currently in course of preparation. These

include:

popular set of spreadsheets to BS8110 produced by the Reinforced

Concrete Council (RCC)

2. A series of How to Design Leaflets explaining the basic design concepts

for primary structural elements available on-line and to be freely

distributed.

3. A concise code summarising the key information within the code required

for everyday use and appropriate values from and references to other

supporting codes

4. Worked Examples for the Design of Concrete Buildings

can be answered and a dedicated website www.eurocode2.info is now on-line

and will be expanded to provide links to available sources of information. This

will complement other activities such as the RCC’s Calcrete Computer Aided

Learning package.

Concluding remarks

1. The advent of EC2 as for the other Eurocodes will have a big impact on

the design of all types of structures. There will be a learning curve

associated with gaining familiarity and using the new code.

conjunction with BRE, are producing design aids and information to assist

the profession, and can answer detailed queries, by way of answers to

frequently asked questions posted on the above website.

3. In general EC2, used in conjunction with the National Annex, is not wildly

different from BS8110 in terms of the design approach. It gives similar

answers and offers scope for more economic structures.

4. There will be an opportunity for comment on the values proposed for the

Nationally Determined Parameters to be included within the National

Annex, before it is published.

5. Overall EC2 is less prescriptive and its scope is more extensive than

BS8110 for example in permitting higher concrete strengths. In this sense

the new code will permit designs not currently permitted in the UK, and

thus give designers the opportunity to derive benefit from the considerable

advances in concrete technology over recent years. The authors believe

that, after an initial acclimatisation period, EC2 will be generally regarded

as a very good code and a step in the right direction.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the funding for this work provided by

the ODPM and the BCA. The paper is endorsed by the Concrete Industry

Eurocode 2 Group (CIEG) referred to in Reference 4.

References

General rules and rules for buildings, BSI 1992.

2. National Structural Concrete Specification for Building Construction,

Second Edition, BCA Publication 97.378, July 2000.

3. EUROCODES, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Civil

Engineering Special issue Two, November 2001, Volume 144.

4. Pal please provide final reference for your paper

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