“The European Concrete Platform (ECP) is a European Association which gathers together European branch associations representing the concrete industry and its constituents. The aim of the ECP is to study and promote all aspects of concrete as the material of choice for sustainable construction. In this regard, the ECP covers a wide range of topics, ranging from thermal mass and energy efficiency to Eurocodes and fire safety. The ECP is also involved in several projects and alliances. These include BUILDUP, Fire Safe Europe, the Sustainable Construction Glossary, and Construction Products Europe. Click here to download the various publications produced by the ECP.”
Safety of structures: EN 1990 Basis of Structural Design provides the framework for the suite of Eurocodes, which includes the design of structures as well as geotechnical and seismic design. The first generation of Eurocodes will contain some elements of choice for countries, although recommendations will usually be given for the choices. One exception lies in EN 1990, in which the criteria for choosing between three forms of load combinations for structures are not specified. BIBM, CEMBUREAU and ERMCO commissioned Prof. Gulvanessian, as convenor of the CEN TC 250 Project Team Basis of Structural Design (EN 1990), to review the implications of the possible choices. The final report was reviewed independently and separately by Prof. Calgaro, Prof. Jensen and Prof. Spehl, members of the same CEN Project Team.
Commentary to Eurocode 2: Like many current national codes in Europe, Eurocode 2 (EC 2) for concrete structures draws heavily on the CEB Model Code. And yet the presentation and terminology, conditioned by the agreed format for Eurocodes, might obscure the similarities to many national codes. Also EC 2 in common with other Eurocodes, tends to be general in character and this might present difficulty to some designers at least initially. The problems of coming to terms with a new set of codes by busy practising engineers cannot be underestimated. This is the backdrop to the publication of ‘Commentary and Worked Examples to EC 2’ by Professor Mancini and his colleagues. Commissioned by CEMBUREAU, BIBM, EFCA and ERMCO this publication should prove immensely valuable to designers in discovering the background to many of the code requirements. This publication will assist in building confidence in the new code, which offers tools for the design of economic and innovative concrete structures. The publication brings together many of the documents produced by the Project Team during the development of the code. The document is rich in theoretical explanations and draws on much recent research. Comparisons with the ENV stage of EC2 are also provided in a number of cases. The chapter on EN 1990 (Basis of structural design) is an added bonus and will be appreciated by practioners. Worked examples further illustrate the application of the code and should promote understanding. The commentary will prove an authentic companion to EC 2 and deserves every success.
Worked examples for Eurocode 2: Like many current national codes in Europe, Eurocode 2 (EC 2) for concrete structures draws heavily on the CEB Model Code. And yet the presentation and terminology, conditioned by the agreed format for Eurocodes, might obscure the similarities to many national codes. Also EC 2 in common with other Eurocodes, tends to be general in character and this might present difficulty to some designers at least initially. The problems of coming to terms with a new set of codes by busy practising engineers cannot be underestimated. This is the backdrop to the publication of ‘Commentary and Worked Examples to EC 2’ by Professor Mancini and his colleagues. Commissioned by CEMBUREAU, BIBM, EFCA and ERMCO this publication should prove immensely valuable to designers in discovering the background to many of the code requirements. This publication will assist in building confidence in the new code, which offers tools for the design of economic and innovative concrete structures. The publication brings together many of the documents produced by the Project Team during the development of the code. The document is rich in theoretical explanations and draws on much recent research. Comparisons with the ENV stage of EC2 are also provided in a number of cases. The chapter on EN 1990 (Basis of structural design) is an added bonus and will be appreciated by practioners. Worked examples further illustrate the application of the code and should promote understanding. The commentary will prove an authentic companion to EC 2 and deserves every success.
Concrete for energy efficient & comfortable buildings: A heavy material such as concrete is capable of buffering a large part of the free heat gains, such as solar radiation and heat. Concrete can therefore decrease energy consumption as well as improve thermal comfort. A taskforce of three principal organisations related to concrete construction (CEMBUREAU/BIBM/ ERMCO) has investigated and documented the advantages of heavy buildings. Energy balance calculations were undertaken for buildings of heavy and lightweight construction in various European climates, for both residential and office circumstances. The results show that a solid residential building requires 2-7% less bought energy for heating compared to a building of lightweight construction. This has significant economical and environmental impacts. Where cooling is required, the energy savings are even larger and cooling facilities can be avoided altogether in many heavy buildings. The advantages are further increased if the effect of thermal mass is actively taken into account in the building design. An information database of the role of concrete in energy efficient buildings including a portfolio of energy efficient concrete buildings has been compiled. National adaptations: Dutch - Irish - Italian - Polish - Swedish - Turkish
General guidelines for using thermal mass in concrete buildings: In warm climates, the thermal mass in concrete and masonry helps provide a comfortable living environment and reduce overheating problems, whilst in cooler climates it can be used to absorb solar gains and reduce the need for heating energy. As the basic design requirements for both seasons are not incompatible, housing in more temperate climates can be designed to take advantage of thermal mass on a year–round basis. Examples of such regions include much of northern Europe and the UK. National adaptations: Italian
Comprehensive fire protection and safety with concrete: This document was produced by CEMBUREAU, BIBM and ERMCO. Aimed at specifiers, regulators, building owners, fire authorities, insurance companies and the general public, it shows how concrete can be used to provide comprehensive fire protection including life safety, protection of property and of the environment. National adaptations: Austrian - Czech - German - French - Irish - Italian - Dutch - Polish - Swedish - Turkish
Improving fire safety in tunnels: Road and railway tunnels as well as underpasses can pose risk to the public. Appropriate choice of materials and design elp to minimise the risk. Recent high-profile tunnel fires in Europe have demonstrated the need for appropriate choice of materials for tunnel construction to ensure high safety and reliable availability to traffic. These fires are inevitably of great intensity leading to structural damage and even loss of life. National adaptations: French - German - Italian - Portuguese - Turkish
The European Guidelines for self-compacting concrete: In 2002 EFNARC published their “Specification & Guidelines for Self-Compacting concrete” which, at that time, provided state of the art information for producers and users. Since then, much additional technical information on SCC has been published but European design, product and construction standards do not yet specifically refer to SCC and for site applications this has limited its wider acceptance, especially by specifiers and purchasers. In 1994 five European organisations (BIBM, CEMBUREAU, ERMCO, EFCA and EFNARC), all dedicated to the promotion of advanced materials and systems for the supply and use of concrete, created a “European Project Group” to review current best practice and produce a new document covering all aspects of SCC. This document “The European Guidelines for Self Compacting Concrete” serves to particularly address those issues related to the absence of European specifications, standards and agreed test methods. Self-compacting concrete (SCC) is an innovative concrete that does not require vibration for placing and compaction. It is able to flow under its own weight, completely filling formwork and achieving full compaction, even in the presence of congested reinforcement. The hardened concrete is dense, homogeneous and has the same engineering properties and durability as traditional vibrated concrete. Concrete that requires little vibration or compaction has been used in Europe since the early 1970s but self-compacting concrete was not developed until the late 1980’s in Japan. In Europe it was probably first used in civil works for transportation networks in Sweden in the mid1990’s. The EC funded a multi-national, industry lead project “SCC” 1997-2000 and since then SCC has found increasing use in all European countries. Self-compacting concrete offers a rapid rate of concrete placement, with faster construction times and ease of flow around congested reinforcement. The fluidity and segregation resistance of SCC ensures a high level of homogeneity, minimal concrete voids and uniform concrete strength, providing the potential for a superior level of finish and durability to the structure. SCC is often produced with low water-cement ratio providing the potential for high early strength, earlier demoulding and faster use of elements and structures. The elimination of vibrating equipment improves the environment on and near construction and precast sites where concrete is being placed, reducing the exposure of workers to noise and vibration. The improved construction practice and performance, combined with the health and safety benefits, make SCC a very attractive solution for both precast concrete and civil engineering construction.
Consortium of European and global trade bodies publishes peer-reviewed study on the Global Warming Potential assessment of biobased construction products
Policy makers should promote the use of right data and correct methods to all construction materials to decarbonise the built environment.
A consortium of European and global trade bodies in the field of construction products (Click here to download the press release in pdf) published a peer-reviewed study entitled “Carbon Accounting for Building Materials – An assessment of Global Warming Potential of biobased construction products” undertaken by LBP SIGHT, consultancy and engineering firm specialised in the field of construction and the environment.
In the construction ecosystem, evaluating the whole life environmental effects of construction materials and products, based on comprehensive and robust data, is of critical importance to ensure the right decisions are taken to mitigate the effects of climate change.
When addressing the whole life carbon (embodied and operational) of construction products, bio-based materials are often directly referred as the preferred solution, even before performing any life-cycle analysis.
The study provides an assessment of the science base behind the conditions of carbon neutrality of bio-based construction products, their substitution effects and a critical assessment of temporary carbon storage benefits.
Consortium independent research on GWP methodologies starts
Brussels, 11 October 2021 – The Global Warming Potential (GWP) is one of the impact categories for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a scientific method used to analyse the impacts of goods and services through their entire life cycle. In the construction sector, this method is used to develop Environmental Products Declarations (EPDs), the “building blocks” on which full assessments at building and infrastructure level are performed.
Sustainable benefits of concrete structures: Buildings account for around 40% of energy consumption in the European Union. Increased awareness of the role of the built environment in maintaining the sensitive balance between man and nature has placed Sustainability at the heart of modern construction and design. A sustainable approach to construction brings lasting environmental, social and economic benefits to society. Concrete has valuable inherent properties that can significantly contribute to the above-mentioned three pillars of sustainable construction for the benefit of people and society. Full publication - Executive Summary - Serbian Version
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