Background and Objectives

In 1975, the Commission of the European Community decided on an action programme in the field of construction, whose objective was the harmonisation of technical specifications. The Commission took the initiative to establish a set of harmonised technical rules for the design of construction works which, in a first stage, would serve as an alternative to the national rules in force in the Member States and, ultimately, would replace them. As a first step, the Commission, with the help of a Steering Committee with Representatives of Member States, conducted the development of the Eurocodes programme. This first generation of the Eurocodes was published in the beginning of the 1990’s as the so-called ENV version of the Eurocodes. At this time, the Commission and the Member States of the EU and EFTA decided to transfer the preparation and the publication of the Eurocodes to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) in order to provide them with a future status of European Standard (EN). The transition of the ENV Eurocodes to EN standards, the so-called conversion of the Eurocodes, is nearly completed.

Nearly all documents have been finalised by the relevant CEN project teams; most have been published in the meantime. At present, the majority of the documents is available in three languages (English, French and German) and the National Annexes, which provide some national adaptations, are under preparation by the National Standardisation Bodies. It is expected that the EN Eurocodes will formally be introduced by the Member States in 2010. In other words, the Eurocodes will be soon the unique design standards for construction industry in Europe. Furthermore, the Eurocodes will be exported worldwide. However, little material is available to support the application and the teaching of the Eurocodes. With respect to the design of steel structures and especially as far as steel structures made with hollow sections are concerned, complementary material to available books such as the CIDECT book for students (“Hollow Sections in Structural Applications” by J. Wardenier) should be made available. Teachers (in universities) and technical marketing responsibles (in industry) have not enough available time to prepare updated material for training and education, or sometimes do not have the required background as they have not been involved in the development of the Eurocodes.

To support teaching the use of the ENV version of the Eurocode 3 (and Eurocode 4), a full set of lectures (presentations in PowerPoint format and lectures in Word format) has been produced in the frame of a large project funded by the European Commission. The project was called SSEDTA and was completed in 2000. This material is freely available without any copyright. However, it is no more in line with the forthcoming EN versions of the Eurocodes. Few projects are running to prepare such material (e.g. STEEL project), but these lectures are general lectures for the design of steel structures. No special attention is given to hollow sections. Quite a number of worked examples are given, but typically focussing on structures made of open sections. Therefore, CIDECT has decided to launch a project in order to prepare updated material to support training and education for the implementation of the new EN version of Eurocode 3. The objective is to support the promotion and the application of the forthcoming EN standards for the construction industry (Eurocodes).

As these standards do not contain sufficient background information (and certainly no worked examples) to ensure a safe and economic use of the design standards, additional and complementary information is required. With financial support from CIDECT, this project has been carried out by the ArGEnCo Department of the University of Liège (Belgium) and by Feldmann + Weynand GmbH (Aachen, Germany) in cooperation with the University of Karlsruhe.

The following authors contributed to the preparation of the CIDECT lectures:

  ●  Nicolas Boissonnade
  ●  Klaus Weynand, Feldmann + Weynand GmbH Aachen
  ●  Oliver Fleischer, University of Karlsruhe
  ●  Jean-Marc Franssen, University of Liège
  ●  Jean-Pierre Jaspart, University of Liège
  ●  René Maquoi, University of Liège

The present set of lectures is the outcome of this CIDECT project entitled “Design of Tubular Steel Structures - Training and Education for the Implementation of EN version of Eurocode 3”. The aim is to support education on the design of steel structures. However, special attention is brought to the application of tubular steel structures. The whole material consists of a preface and 21 lectures, in total more than 630 PowerPoint slides and nearly 400 pages of accompanying text. The material – hereafter called CIDECT lectures – is intended to be made available to teachers but it can also be used by industry to prepare information or technical seminars on tubular construction.