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Buildings Buildability

Controls for elderly & disabled Natural ventilation Thermal insulation

Coastal and Maritime Engineering

Port environmental management 3

Construction futures CONSPEC


Design management innovation Snow load maps

Environment Waste minimisation

Highways Flexible composite pavements

Materials CONSPEC

Recycled concrete aggregate Sealant movement


Design management innovation Equality in construction

National building research organisations

Building procurement

River engineering Reservoir sedimentation


Dealing with dance loading Light steel framing

Support to standards Snow load maps

5 10 7 4

12 8

8 5 6

2 4 6

4 7

11 2

7 9 3


Safer ports from a new guide The safety of ship-to-shore ramps and walkways has been the subject of recent publicity

with extensive coverage of the fatal Ramsgate accident. The ports industry – represented by the Ports Safety Organisation (PSO) and Professor Jack Chapman, a renowned expert in this field – approached CIRIA in 1996 with a request to prepare and publish best practice guidance on the two areas that the industry considered would make maximum impact on safety: Procurement, and Operation & Maintenance.


o ensure a truly collaborative approach, CIRIA brought together representatives from all parts of the ports industry to contribute to the development of the project. The project now enjoys substantial support from over 200 Ports (through the PSO), HSE, DETR, Lloyds Register, the Safety Assessment Federation and the TT Club. CIRIA is grateful for this financial support, and for the in-kind technical contributions of members of the project steering group, which enabled work on the project to start in December 1997. CIRIA’s research contractors are Posford

Duvivier, who have continued CIRIA’s efforts to ensure maximum involvement and input from industry. The first step was to carry out an industry survey of all linkspans and walkways in the UK, Ireland and North West Europe. 115 consultees responded (a 43% return rate and more are still arriving) which resulted in the identification of 430 shore ramps and 135 walkways. Posford Duvivier are now gathering detailed information on all of these facilities from port operators, owners, designers, classification societies, installation contractors, trade associations, statutory authorities, insurers, inspection companies, ship owners and maintenance organisations. This information will all be put into a database

which will then be interrogated for information throughout the rest of the research. Establishing best practice in the procure- ment, operation and maintenance of these facilities will be through analysis of the data gathered and discussions by the experienced and industry-representative project steering group. A consultative workshop will also be held in June 1998 to which industry experts will be invited to comment on the findings and initial recommendations.

Publication of best practice should not only result in safer facilities but also enable the production of clearer functional specifica- tions, better communications and more efficient and cost-effective operation and maintenance.

The research is scheduled to finish in September 1998, with open publication by the end of the year.

For further details on the research, or if you would like to be considered for invitation to the June workshop, please contact Dr Ghazwa M. Alwani-Starr, Head of Process Group, CIRIA, 6 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AU (0171 222 8891; fax: 0171 222 1708; E-mail:

Research Focus NO. 33 MAY 1998


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