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JRC Research in Support of the EN Eurocodes

Since its inauguration in 1992, the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) 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 (5th - 7th Framework Programme) or in support to the Commission.

Support to the implementation, harmonization and further development

Since 2005, the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR) of the European Commission committed the JRC through an Administrative Arrangement to provide support in the implementation, harmonization and further development of the Eurocodes.