International Codification Forum

During the 10th International Conference on Wind Engineering held at Copenhagen, Denmark, June 21-24, 1999, there was broad support for the formation of a network of wind engineers involved in the writing of wind loading codes, standards and recommendations. The background to this is the ongoing push for expansion of world trade, and the removal of perceived barriers to trade in goods and services. Bodies such as the World Trade Organisation see differing design standards for structural design as ‘technical barriers to trade’ in structural design services, and in certain manufactured products such as prefabricated buildings or lighting poles.

It is clear that wind loading design codes on a national level, and on a multi-national level (such as Eurocode), have developed in different ways, and it is becoming more and more difficult for structural engineers to understand wind loading codes other than their own. This has occurred despite ten international conferences on wind engineering over nearly forty years, and numerous other smaller meetings, which have enabled the exchange of research results between wind engineering experts.

At a meeting of about twenty delegates in Copenhagen the ‘International Codification Forum’ (on wind loads) was created. The functions of the group are as follows :

    • To facilitate communication between wind engineers who are also active in writing wind codes at an national, multi-national (e.g. Eurocode), or international level (e.g. ISO)
    • To establish common agreement on code formats
    • To establish a world-wide data-base of design wind speeds (with appropriate reliability tags)
    • To liase with related groups (ISO, Eurocode, Wind Hazard Mitigation Forum etc)
It was emphasised that this group was not intending to write a new code or standard (and therefore it was not intended to compete with any ISO or Eurocode working groups). The ICF will operate under the umbrella of the International Association of Wind Engineering, and report on its activities to the IAWE on a regular basis. Initially it was decided to consider only wind codification for buildings, and tower-like structures such as chimneys or observation towers. Structures with special design requirements such as bridges, offshore structures, and transmission line structures would not be included in the first instance.

An initial listing of members from the following countries has been compiled : Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, U.S.A. In order to keep the group to a workable size, it was decided to limit the numbers to one per country, with two for larger nations such as the U.S.A. and Japan. However alternate representation for some countries will enable broader participation. Interest from potential members in countries not in the above list are invited. However, it is essential that members be currently and separately involved in writing wind codes at a national or multi-national level.

The first task of the group was to compile information on code format, reference wind speed/pressure, and probabilistic basis of all the wind codes represented.

Most communication will be done by internet and e-mail – however it is likely that a workshop on codification will be held in conjunction with a related international conference during the next year or two.

Contacts : Dr. John Holmes (Australia) - Convenor. JHolmes@bigpond.com or John.Holmes@eng.monash.edu.au

Dr. Michael Kasperski (Germany) – Secretary. Michael.Kasperski@aib.ruhr-uni-bochum.de

Dr. Nick Cook (U.K.) - Webmaster. Nicholas_Cook@compuserve.com