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Revised document to help industry prepare for earthquakes

January 23, 2023

Statements

A revised Commentary document complementing the Australian Standard AS 3600, Concrete Structures Standard provides additional industry guidance on the design and construction of concrete structures.  

The commentary document – AS 3600:2018 Sup 1:2022 – is a resource that industry can use in conjunction with the Concrete Structures Standard. It provides explanation and interpretation, gives background and guidance, highlights changes in previous practices, and provides references and further readings.  

The Commentary aims to help users of the Concrete Structures Standard understand and interpret design and classification requirements. Significantly, it includes guidance on what can be often misunderstood requirements for the design of concrete structures to resist earthquakes – particularly, the use of force-based design procedures and the rationale behind detailing rules, which are intended to ensure ductility of streel reinforcements.

The document also aims to give guidance on classifications that assist industry in determining what level of ‘resilience’ buildings need according to their intended use. For example, authorities may dictate that critical structures such as hospitals, emergency services or similar buildings should be better protected.

“It is vital these buildings have a higher level of resilience so that Australia’s government and crucial services can continue to operate,” said Jim Forbes, Chair of BD-002, Concrete Structures – the committee responsible for the standard and commentary document. BD-002 was prompted to revise the earthquake requirements of the Standard and Commentary document following the most recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It may seem dramatic, but the Standard cannot exist without the Commentary – they're complementary documents,” Mr Forbes said.  

“Earthquakes aren’t commonplace in Australia, and are therefore sometimes misunderstood. But we could have one tomorrow or in 100 years – no one really knows, so it is important to be as prepared as possible for when it does happen.”  

Additionally, the document has been updated on steel fibre reinforcement, providing further explanation. It also provides guidance on a new approach to shear, a common part of structural analysis, with the aim of ensuring the industry is keeping up to date with current technology.  

“Standards Australia is pleased to be supporting industry with this Commentary in order to help users interpret and implement AS 3600,” said Adam Stingemore, Standards Australia’s General Manager of Engagement and Communications.  

“Standards have a significant role to play in improving safety in the construction and design sector, and Standards Australia will continue its valuable work in this area into the future.”  

The commentary document, AS 3600:2018 Sup 1:2022, Concrete Structures – Commentary, is available via the Standards Store and our distribution partners.  

Contact
Jess Dunne
Revised document to help industry prepare for earthquakes
+ 61 2 9237 6381
Email and link here

A revised Commentary document complementing the Australian Standard AS 3600, Concrete Structures Standard provides additional industry guidance on the design and construction of concrete structures.  

The commentary document – AS 3600:2018 Sup 1:2022 – is a resource that industry can use in conjunction with the Concrete Structures Standard. It provides explanation and interpretation, gives background and guidance, highlights changes in previous practices, and provides references and further readings.  

The Commentary aims to help users of the Concrete Structures Standard understand and interpret design and classification requirements. Significantly, it includes guidance on what can be often misunderstood requirements for the design of concrete structures to resist earthquakes – particularly, the use of force-based design procedures and the rationale behind detailing rules, which are intended to ensure ductility of streel reinforcements.

The document also aims to give guidance on classifications that assist industry in determining what level of ‘resilience’ buildings need according to their intended use. For example, authorities may dictate that critical structures such as hospitals, emergency services or similar buildings should be better protected.

“It is vital these buildings have a higher level of resilience so that Australia’s government and crucial services can continue to operate,” said Jim Forbes, Chair of BD-002, Concrete Structures – the committee responsible for the standard and commentary document. BD-002 was prompted to revise the earthquake requirements of the Standard and Commentary document following the most recent earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It may seem dramatic, but the Standard cannot exist without the Commentary – they're complementary documents,” Mr Forbes said.  

“Earthquakes aren’t commonplace in Australia, and are therefore sometimes misunderstood. But we could have one tomorrow or in 100 years – no one really knows, so it is important to be as prepared as possible for when it does happen.”  

Additionally, the document has been updated on steel fibre reinforcement, providing further explanation. It also provides guidance on a new approach to shear, a common part of structural analysis, with the aim of ensuring the industry is keeping up to date with current technology.  

“Standards Australia is pleased to be supporting industry with this Commentary in order to help users interpret and implement AS 3600,” said Adam Stingemore, Standards Australia’s General Manager of Engagement and Communications.  

“Standards have a significant role to play in improving safety in the construction and design sector, and Standards Australia will continue its valuable work in this area into the future.”  

The commentary document, AS 3600:2018 Sup 1:2022, Concrete Structures – Commentary, is available via the Standards Store and our distribution partners.  

Contact
Jess Dunne
Communications Manager
+ 61 2 9237 6381
jess.dunne@standards.org.au
Adam Stingemore
General Manager, Engagement and Communications
+61 2 9237 6086
Chris Larsen
Senior Manager Communications & Design
+ 0431 900 712
Jess Dunne
Communications Manager
+ 61 2 9237 6381