This Discussion Document outlines a structured framework using the performance-based approach to durability design of concrete. Current European and UK standards are based on a ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ approach, typically providing tables of minimum or maximum limitations for concrete designs depending on the type of in-service exposure anticipated. Whilst this approach is an established and valid route for the majority of concrete, in certain circumstances a performance-based approach may be more appropriate.
Performance-based methods have been recognised as an important aspect in the construction industry for many years, but the development in relation to concrete durability has yet to be formalised through European standardisation. Notwithstanding the current lack of standardisation, various methods exist with sufficient maturity to be applied. A Discussion Document on the subject is therefore considered to be of use and interest to the industry, not least to promote awareness and engender further discussion.
It is worth emphasizing that performance-based specification is the reserve of specialists and likely only to be applied on large projects in aggressive environments, where long term durability is desired or where an element is critical.
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