Eurocode 5 Revamped

The 'Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5' (second edition) is now available – helping engineers maximise timber's potential while meeting the requirements of Eurocode 5. Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe, Revising Author and TRADA Advisory Committee Member provides more detail.

Since 2007, we have seen a period of tremendous growth in the international timber industry, which has in turn resulted in a swell of research and an array of new products on the market. In the words of the Manual's Task Group chair Richard Harris: "It is now fifteen years since that first full version of Eurocode 5 was published and much has changed. Eurocode 5 offered a more rigorous standard as compared with its predecessor and also enabled pan-European collaboration in research and practice. This has enabled the full potential for timber to be released, and the extent and scale of timber engineering in the UK has expanded enormously. It is, therefore, now timely for the publication of this revision of the Manual."

The Manual provides guidance on the structural design of single-storey and medium-rise multi-storey buildings and supports the design of timber building structures to BS EN 1995-1-1 (Eurocode 5), together with its supporting codes and standards, within the UK. This is the first new edition since the Manual's launch in 2007 and incorporates the changes made to Eurocode 5 since its initial publication, ensuring its enduring relevance.

It was vital that we updated the manual considering all the amendments that were implemented in not just Eurocode 5 (EC5), but all the supporting standards as well since 2004. By far the leading resource for timber engineering, the new edition ensures that it will continue to be the must-have reference for engineers and specifiers who are keen to work to EC5.

Naturally, there has also been a flurry of amendments, brand new standards, and changes to the other European product and harmonized standards that support EC5. It's a pivotal time for the industry – and a new edition of the Manual which has now served the profession for fifteen years, seems fitting to proclaim this, while further bolstering the Manual's reputation as the leading resource for timber engineering. Consequently, the Manual has now been updated to include code changes to sections on material properties, bearing capacities, connections, glulam, racking, and fire, along with the insertion of new sections referencing CLT and the new product standard. Further changes have been made which take into account the feedback of readers and consulted practising engineers, while further streamlining the content to remove potential for errors or misunderstandings.

A key difference between this publication and others in the IStructE's Eurocode series is a subtle one. The Manual is not only a manual to design to EC5 – it is also a manual to design timber structures, providing guidance on the structural design of single-storey and medium-rise multi-storey buildings beyond EC5, and its supporting codes and standards in the UK. Most notably, the Manual includes updated tables for capacities for most common fastener types, significantly reducing the calculational burden on engineers designing timber connections, which is widely considered to be the most difficult aspect of implementing EC5.

The new edition of the Manual, which represents an ongoing partnership between TRADA and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), was launched at last  November's Better Timber Buildings conference in London and will ensure the publication continues to be the must-have reference for engineers and specifiers who are keen to work to EC5.

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