The standard, ISO 13822:2010, Bases for design of structures – Assessment of existing structures, was developed as a practical guide for structural engineers and their clients. Now in its second edition, ISO 13822, features for the first time, specific guidance on the assessment of heritage structures.

With a growing world population, it is becoming more and more important to extend the life of existing structures. Assessing their safety, however, requires very different skills than the development of new structures, as well as knowledge beyond the scope of design codes.

Prof. Hirozo Mihashi, Project Leader of the standard, explains, “The built environment is a huge economic and political asset. ISO 13822 gives engineers a much needed handy tool to confidently assess safety and serviceability, so that whenever possible, a structure can be preserved. And this, without undergoing any unnecessary costs.

“Keeping changes and ensuing costs practical is especially important as first, engineers are under increasing pressure to work with tight budgets, and second, by limiting intervention to a minimum and hence, reducing the environmental consequences of construction works, ISO 13822 can contribute to sustainable development”.

Prof. Mihashi adds, “We are very excited that the standard now includes specific guidance for heritage structures, which are the world’s cultural and intellectual treasure. It is important that they can be maintained for the safe enjoyment of future generations.”

ISO 13822’s requirements and procedures are based on the principles of structural reliability and consequences of failure. The standard is applicable to any type of existing structure. It will be useful when:

  • Anticipating change in use, or extension of design working life, of a structure
  • Conducting reliability checks (e.g. for earthquakes, increased traffic actions) as required by authorities, insurance companies, owners, etc.
  • Assessing structural deterioration due to time-dependent actions (e.g. corrosion, fatigue)
  • Checking structural damage from accidental actions (e.g. fires)

ISO 13822:2010, Bases for design of structures – Assessment of existing structures, was prepared by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 98, Bases for design of structures, subcommittee SC 2, Reliability of structures, and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 142 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column).