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This paper examines how the Eurocodes deal with structural safety and risk management in civil engineering. The questions of responsibility of the designer and/or of the architect are underlying, but are not treated in detail. On one hand, the public aversion to failure and the societal desire of protection are increasing; on the other hand, the organization of the construction industry (research of profits, lower cost of construction processes, strategy of engineering companies, increasing of subcontracting) is a serious source of risks. What can be done in standards to invite engineers to exert their expertise in better conditions? The current format of verification of construction works is the semi-probabilistic format, called limit state design, and based on the partial factor method. Of course, it is possible to adjust the reliability levels by selecting the numerical values of the partial factors at the national levels, but, in reality, such a procedure is rather limited: changes of political nature are needed to reduce risks in civil engineering.

ISGSR 2011 - Vogt, Schuppener, Straub & Bräu (eds) - © 2011 Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau ISBN 978-3-939230-01-4
CEN/TC250 “Structural Eurocodes”
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