FIB 2008

in Amsterdam
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Congress themes

Congress Themes

Authors will be asked to send in a summary that can focus on:

Life cycle design

In the past, designs of concrete structures were made principally for safety and serviceability. Only recently it was realised that a major cost factor is maintenance and repair. Life cycle design means design not only for adequate safety and serviceability, but also for durability and minimum maintenance costs. Finally demolition and removal should be added to the design criteria.

Increasing the speed of construction

Time, more than ever is a cost-critical influencing factor. Building in shorter time means saving money both directly and indirectly for example due to reduced hindrance in the work environment, by improving the flow of traffic. Short construction times give the possibility of reacting quickly to impending social needs. Shortening of construction time can be achieved by many means, for example improved standardization, use of lighter and stronger structural elements, more rapid hardening of concrete or smarter construction procedures.

Modifying and adapting structures

Activities of structural designers are gradually widening from design of new structures to upgrades of existing structures. Many buildings are partially dismantled and rebuilt to serve other functions. Many bridges are strengthened because of deterioration or increasing traffic loads. New techniques are developed to allow more efficient adaptation, upgrading or repair.

Diagnosis of structures

Investigation of the condition of an older structure can be a complicated task. The remaining bearing capacity should be determined taking into account of visible damage and a search for invisible defects. Monitoring equipment should be used in order to compensate lack of data. For some aspects procedures can be developed. The skill of the engineer is however indispensable.

Codes for the future

National and International codes focus on structural safety and serviceability of new structures. In future, other aspects will become of importance, such as life cycle design, high performance and defined performance materials, strengthening and repair of old structures, monitoring and inspection and design for low maintenance. All will demand strongly updated design recommendations.

Underground structures

Prognoses of the migration of people in the world show, that there will be an increasing desire to live in cities. Shortage of space has led already to underground structures of various natures.

A special challenge is to build in existing congested areas. Interesting recent examples can be given. On the other hand there is need for new concepts and innovative ideas in this field.

Building in condensed areas

As an alternative for underground structures, in urban areas structures can be built beyond existing structures. In this way more multi-level cities can be created providing larger spaces for living, working and recreation. Successful first applications can be given. In order to develop multi level cities in which it will be desirable to live new and innovative ideas are challenged.

Maintaining the cultural inheritance

Old structures, sometimes centuries old, have to be preserved in order to permanently fulfil their function as testimonies of a cultural past. Many conservation – and upgrading techniques have been developed, but their durability is often unknown.

Developing a modern infrastructure

Developing a modern infrastructure is and will be an everlasting task for many structural engineers. New concepts for bridges and tunnels must be developed and designs prepared in sometimes difficult boundary conditions. In recent times spectacular examples of new structures may be noted. Developing innovative methods is a must.

Innovative materials

The last decade has shown a revolutionary development of new types of concrete. After an increase of the concrete strength classes to C90/105, self-compacting concrete, ultra high strength concrete, high performance fibre concrete and the like have all attracted attention. Applications with the various new types of concrete testify their potential.

Architectural concrete and concrete structures

The beauty of structures, and their integration in the environment, is now finally gaining recognition as a criterion for design. The involvement of architects has generally led to an enrichment of the aesthetics of structures. New concrete types, for example coloured concrete, glass concrete and even transparent concrete trigger the fantasy of designers. High demands are imposed on the quality of construction.

Monitoring and inspection

Life cycle design requires new methods to predict durability of structures under their particular environment. The development of maintenance programs will be part of future design. It is necessary regularly to inspect or continuously monitor structures in order to record their inevitable degradation and to be able to adapt a suitable maintenance strategy. On the other hand advanced monitoring systems are necessary to investigate the condition of an existing structure, in order to take the right preservation or strengthening measures.

Designing structure against extreme loads

Natural catastrophes unfortunately are a part of human life. Earthquakes, gas explosions, floods have taken many casualties in the recent past. Structural design should opt always to save human lives as much as possible.

Financing

Financing of building projects is moreover a matter of private partners. Their involvement becomes more and more as an essential intermediate for the realisation of projects. How do these financial oriented organisations impact the market?

Design strategies for the future

Responsibilities in the building sector are changing. Worldwide there is a wish for transparency, diminishing the direct influence of the government during the building phase. How do we ensure that the technical knowledge necessary for construction will be continued for the future?

Official Language

Congress language is English.

No translation into other languages will be provided.

Written papers must all be in English.

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