The Concrete Yearbook is a very important source of information for engineers involved in the planning, design, analysis and construction of concrete structures. It is published on a yearly basis and offers chapters devoted to various, highly topical subjects. Every chapter provides extensive, up-to-date information written by renowned experts in the areas concerned. The subjects change every year and may return in later years for an updated treatment. This publication strategy guarantees that not only is the latest knowledge presented, but that the choice of topics itself meets readers’ demands for upto-date news. The subjects change every year and may return in later years for an updated treatment. This publication strategy guarantees that not only is the latest knowledge presented, but that the choice of topics itself meets readers’ demands for upto-date news.
For decades, the themes chosen have been treated in such a way that, on the one hand, the reader gets background information and, on the other, becomes familiar with the practical experience, methods and rules needed to put this knowledge into practice. For practising engineers, this is an optimum combination. In order to find adequate solutions for the wide scope of everyday or special problems, engineering practice requires knowledge of the rules and recommendations as well as an understanding of the theories or assumptions behind them. During the history of the Concrete Yearbook, an interesting development has taken place. In the early editions, themes of interest were chosen on an ad hoc basis. Meanwhile, however, the building industry has gone through a remarkable evolution.
Whereas in the past attention focused predominantly on matters concerning structural safety and serviceability, nowadays there is an increasing awareness of our responsibility with regard to society in a broader sense. This is reflected, for example, in the wish to avoid problems related to the limited durability of structures. Expensive repairs to structures have been, and unfortunately still are, necessary because in the past our awareness of the deterioration processes affecting concrete and reinforcing steel was inadequate. Therefore, structural design should now focus on building structures with sufficient reliability and serviceability for a specified period of time, without substantial maintenance costs. Moreover, we are confronted by a legacy of older structures that must be assessed with regard to their suitability to carry safely the increased loads often applied to them today.
In this respect, several aspects of structural engineering have to be considered in an interrelated way, such as risk, functionality, serviceability, deterioration processes, strengthening techniques, monitoring, dismantlement, adaptability and recycling of structures and structural materials plus the introduction of modern highperformance materials. The significance of sustainability has also been recognized. This must be added to the awareness that design should focus not just on individual structures and their service lives, but on their function in a wider context as well, i.e. harmony with their environment, acceptance by society, responsible use of resources, low energy consumption and economy. Construction processes must also become cleaner, cause less environmental impact and pollution.
The editors of the Concrete Yearbook have clearly recognized these and other trends and now offer a selection of coherent subjects that reside under the common “umbrella” of a broader societal development of great relevance. In order to be able to cope with the corresponding challenges, the reader can find information on progress in technology, theoretical methods, new research findings, new ideas on design and construction, developments in production and assessment and conservation strategies. The current selection of topics and the way they are treated makes the Concrete Yearbook a splendid opportunity for engineers to find out about and stay abreast of developments in engineering knowledge, practical experience and concepts in the field of the design of concrete structures on an international level.
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