H+H has published details of how its products align with the new Eurocode 6 (EC6) in addition to the existing British Standard BS5628: Part 1: Code of Practice for the use of Masonry, which has now been officially withdrawn.
The Eurocodes are a set of harmonized technical rules developed by the European Committee to standardise the structural design of construction works in the EU. There are 10 design standards covering everything from earthquake resistance to the design of aluminium structures. Eurocode 6 deals with the design of masonry structures.
The use of Eurocodes has been mandatory in the specification of European public works since March 2010. In the latest changes to Part A (Structural Safety) of the Building regulations, which came into effect 1st October, the government has removed references to BS5628 in preference to Eurocode 6. However, it acknowledges that the use of recently withdrawn British Standards will continue to be acceptable to Building Control for the foreseeable future.
For masonry design, one of the most significant differences between Eurocode 6 and BS5628 is that EC6 uses a formula to calculate the characteristic compressive strength of masonry, whereas in BS5628 it is centred on tabulated values.
The tabulated values in the BS are based on the declared compressive strength for specific sizes of masonry blocks and strengths of the mortar. By contrast, the diverse range, sizes and shapes of different masonry material means that the Eurocodes are based on the standardised or "normalised" mean compressive strength of a 100mm, dry cube of a masonry unit.
To help specifiers understand the characteristics of H+H's blockwork when aligned both to BS5628 and Eurocode 6, H+H has put together a useful datasheet. The datasheet includes values for the normalised compressive strength for all of H+H's block types and thickness. It also highlights the benefits, such as reduced material safety factors, which can be exploited in both codes from using H+H products. For more information you can view and download a PDF document.