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Research in support of standardisation in construction and construction products


Specific Objectives:
The main objectives are to maintain and further develop the specific competences of the JRC in the fields of experimental and numerical research in support of standardization in construction, to foster for innovation in this area and to provide training to European researchers. The specific objectives for the five Tasks of the action, for 2003, are:
1.1 Review and identification of specific co-normative research needs in support of the Eurocodes through appropriate channels (DG ENTERPRISE-G5, CEN- Technical Committees, etc.);
1.2 Undertake research on the aforementioned specific topics involving the JRC capabilities and expertise and promotion of EU collaborative research on those topics. Possible areas of activity are (non exhaustive list): assessment and repair techniques for existing buildings; irregular structures; prefabricated structures;
2.1 Undertake bibliographical and basic research on the nature of adhesive bond between Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) and standard building materials (concrete). Establish appropriate Networking on this subject;
3.1 Set-up of a European research group on performance based standards (PBS) and manage possible short-term and long-term interaction with Eurocodes;
4.1 Underpin the establishment of a EU IT-based network of structural mechanics laboratories, allowing for data storage/repository, tele-observation and tele-operation;
5.1 Train researchers from EU and Candidate Countries;
5.2 Establish appropriate collaboration with European research and education institutions.
Planned Deliverables:
The deliverables related to the objectives above, for 2003, are:
1.1 Workshop with stakeholders - resulting in a list of Co-normative research priorities including tests at ELSA;
1.2 Preparation of the 'first priority tests' at ELSA - Technical Report;
2.1 Technical Report on adhesive bond between Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) and standard building materials;
3.1 Outline of a research program on criteria and requirements for performance-based standards in construction and for construction products;
4.1 Preparation of a dedicated workshop, "a EU IT-based network of structural mechanics laboratories", to be held in for 2004;
5.1 4/3 person-year training after selection phase;
5.2 Cooperation agreements with European research and education institutions.
Summary of the Action:
This action covers part of the research needs regarding standardisation in the construction and the construction products sector. In particular, it addresses the following main research topics:
1. Co-normative and pre-normative research needs in support of the Eurocodes, which will facilitate approval and provide scientific and technical background for the first code revision foreseen within the next 5 years (e.g.: Design of torsion unbalanced buildings; Deformation-based design methods, Pre- cast construction, Assessment and strengthening). Any other request from DG ENTERPRISE (originated in CEN TC250, other standardisation bodies and stakeholders) will be considered;
2. Pre-normative research in support of standards for new construction materials (e.g. fibre reinforced composites) and retrofitting/repair techniques for existing vulnerable constructions;
3. Research in support of the definition of performance-based criteria in buildings and standards, which will constitute the basis for the future performance-based design codes, in detriment of the present prescriptive approach. These activities require both experimental and numerical research work to be performed at the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) as well as a strong involvement of the European testing facilities and scientific/technical communities. The ELSA laboratory with its unique reaction-wall facility, the network of the European large-scale facilities for earthquake and dynamic testing as well as the scientific networks around ELSA constitute the appropriate platform to achieve the objectives. The activity under this action and the framework under which it will be developed, which involves a unique experimental facility in Europe and a strong networking activity, complemented by the information and communication technologies, constitutes an ideal platform for training of researchers in Europe. Therefore, this action foresees a strong component on training through research that encompasses the objectives of the European Research Area. Rationale Internal Market Completion, Competitiveness, Sustainability and Safety of Citizens and Goods are major objectives to be achieved in the construction and construction products sectors in Europe as well as the full application of the relevant Council Directives (CD 89/106/EEC, CD71/305/EEC and CD89/440/EEC). The Eurocodes programme constitutes part of the directives application instruments and provides structural design rules used for the design of structures (buildings and civil engineering works) and structural products. The Commission (DG ENTERPRISE) puts priority on the approval of the Eurocodes and on the need for a suitable maintenance/revision scheme, which should allow to incorporate innovation in the codes and to solve any issues resulting from their practical application. Furthermore, DG ENTERPRISE seeks appropriate mechanisms to maintain and promote research in support of the Construction Standards (including Eurocodes). The present action covers part of the research needs regarding standardisation in the construction and the construction products sector.

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