The Safety and Security Unit of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) with its European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) is giving an important contribution to the development and updating of the Eurocodes, by participating in several pre-normative research projects, carrying out reference seismic tests, fostering networking and participation of the Member States research institutions and industry, as well as promoting international collaboration.
ELSA has significantly contributed to bringing the Eurocodes to their present stage, especially EN 1998 - Eurocode 8, which covers the design of all civil engineering structures in seismic zones.
The ELSA reaction wall has been operated for several reference tests, on which chapters of the current normative document are based. Typical examples are:
- the design of reinforced concrete buildings with the new Tempcore reinforcing steel;
- the design of composite (steel and concrete) buildings;
- the explicit consideration of the infill walls in the seismic design of infilled structures;
- the assessment and re-design/retrofitting of existing vulnerable constructions.
These research projects have been carried out within the framework of joint research programmes involving national institutions (laboratories and universities) and experts. They were either institutional (JRC work-programme), competitive (European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation) or in support of the Commission.
Adaptation of structural design to climate change
JRC is involved in the identification of further research needs for the adaptation of structural design to climate change.
Tunnels and other underground structures
As there are no common European design standards for underground structures, since 2017 JRC is assessing the standardisation needs for the design of underground structures with the support of its expert network.
Transfer of innovation
JRC is collaborating with DG GROW and CEN/TC250 on the transfer of innovation into standards. The JRC justifies standardisation needs, concepts new standards, and publishes reports supporting the further development of the Eurocodes.
Open access to JRC research infrastructures
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) opens its scientific laboratories and facilities to people working in academia and research organisations, industry and small and medium enterprises.
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.