Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 431-442 (2007)



D.A. Nethercot

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, UK

(Corresponding author: E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Received: 11 May 2006; Revised: 19 August 2006; Accepted: 22 August 2006




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Drawing on over 30 years of personal involvement with the preparation of codes of practice for structural steel design, the issue of academic elegance versus practitioner practicality is discussed. Several examples taken from recently produced codes are used to illustrate different manifestations of the issue.   The matter is discussed within the wider context of both the growing internationalisation of codes and the substantial supporting infrastructure needed by designers to efficiently implement their provisions.   Although the specifics relate largely to the design of steel buildings in the UK and the wider European context, it is thought that the points stated, lessons learned and recommendations made are of general relevance.



codes of practice, design, steel structures, structural engineering


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