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Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (March 2018)

Forensic Engineering

Two articles published by Temporary Works Forum members:

Briefing: Network Rail Safe by Design: Buildings and Civils Working Group, UK

Steve Williams, BEng, CEng, MICE, MIStructE, AMAPM; Infrastructure Projects, Network Rail, Birmingham, UK

Irrespective of what is designed, safety is an integral part of the design process. Practitioners need to understand what influences safe design, look at hazards and then adapt their processes, and more importantly their behaviours, to make it instinctive. Design must consider safety over the whole project life cycle, from inception to development, implementation, commissioning, operation and maintenance, eventual decommissioning and disposal. The Network Rail Safe by Design (SbD) initiative is a railway system-led response to these challenges. SbD principles actively eliminate or reduce risk during design development for construction and maintenance activities and ensure that remaining risks are effectively communicated. This paper gives the reader an insight into how Network Rail and its supply chain are working together collaboratively to improve the safety of the railway in the UK, using design methods and aids.

Link: (subscription content)


Some structural aspects of top-down demolition of concrete buildings
Tim Lohmann, BEng, CEng, FICE, FIStructE; Wentworth House Partnership, Esher, UK

This paper describes the ‘top-down’ demolition process and then explores the engineering challenges associated with this and how they are commonly addressed. The top-down process as commonly used in UK demolition practice is to support a relatively small plant on the existing floor slabs and demolish the building by using this plant, enclosing the structure in scaffold and disposing of material through vertical drop zones. The main engineering challenges are the assessment of the existing floor plates for the loads from the demolition process (debris, access and plant) and maintenance of overall building stability. The use of larger machinery can be beneficial but requires load-testing processes to validate overloading, with possible reference to failure study and back-analysis. The load-testing approach has potential shortcomings as current floor-testing approaches use relatively high factors against failure but test relatively small areas, generally in flexure rather than shear. Some failure mechanisms are described, and suggestions are made as to what testing could have been adopted to check for these.

Link: (open access)