Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Risk Prevention and Safety in Construction

Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen

Action: 32003



The availability of advanced design codes, undertaken at the European level, is a starting condition for risk reduction and harmonization in construction, but there is the need for training of the technical community and of a more focused university education curricula. Furthermore, the research agenda should be defined according to the evolution of the construction sector (new materials, new construction systems, etc.) and with the Union policy objectives in terms of Competitiveness (Innovation, harmonization), Sustainability (Energy consumption, reduction of waste) and rational use and optimization of resources.

Fundamental research should not be marginalized. Applied engineering oriented R&D and fundamental research should be well balanced. Development of innovative techniques and methods to improve the seismic performance of buildings, infrastructures (and their components) and integrated approaches in a city or /and network scale are of prior importance. Furthermore, more explicit performance based engineering is required including life-cycle cost analyses.

Having in view the facilities and expertise of the JRC and the research priorities anticipated by stakeholders, SAFECONSTRUCTION will address the following topics:

* Implementation, Further Harmonization and Further Development of the Eurocodes: (i) Support to the implementation and co-operation with Member States and CEN: (ii) Analysis of deviations from Recommended Values; (iii) Follow-up of pilot project(s) on Harmonization (e.g., European Seismic Hazard Maps); (iv) Acting as facilitator for new developments; (v) Extension to the 6 Essential Requirements and also to the Basic Requirement on Sustainability introduced in the Construction Products Regulation (COM(2008) 311 final) (Adaptation needs, harmonization with existing and new European Standards, acting as facilitators and fostering co-operation between relevant JRC institutes.

* Life-cycle performance optimization in construction: (i) Definition and optimization of performance criteria for the whole life-cycle: (ii) Performance requirements for new materials and techniques; (iii) Rationalization of the approach to the issue of durability; (iv) Requirements for the use and disposal of constructions; (v) Requirements for the detailing of connections in pre-cast structures.

* Innovative and sustainable construction technologies and materials (integrating design, construction and maintenance processes to respond to sustainability requirements): (i) New and light materials; (ii) Modular construction and assemblage;

* Assessment and protection of special facilities against severe loads: (i) nuclear installations, specifically refined seismic assessment methods for existing nuclear facilities in order to contribute to safety guides and standards, (ii) Advanced protection technologies and solutions, such as active and semi-active control, for bridges and other special constructions under earthquake, wind and traffic induced loads)

* Enhancing use of the ELSA Laboratory and research collaboration and dissemination of results (Outreach) - (i) Virtual laboratory (tele- presence and distributed collaborative testing), (ii) Enhancing pseudo-dynamic test methods and associated technologies; (iii) Advanced sensing systems and Databases, (iv) Advanced modelling for numerical and hybrid simulations, (v) Optical measurement of field quantities; (vi) Networking with key European Partners and international collaboration, (vii) Contribution to the definition of a European vision on research infrastructures and its implementation. The work here is very closely related to the research and networking activities of the Indirect Actions E-FAST and SERIES.