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Congress Themes

6 februari 2017

Authors will be asked to send in a summary that can focus on:

Life cycle design

In the past, designs of concrete structures were made principally for safety and serviceability. Only recently it was realised that a major cost factor is maintenance and repair. Life cycle design means design not only for adequate safety and serviceability, but also for durability and minimum maintenance costs. Finally demolition and removal should be added to the design criteria.

Increasing the speed of construction

Time, more than ever is a cost-critical influencing factor. Building in shorter time means saving money both directly and indirectly for example due to reduced hindrance in the work environment, by improving the flow of traffic. Short construction times give the possibility of reacting quickly to impending social needs. Shortening of construction time can be achieved by many means, for example improved standardization, use of lighter and stronger structural elements, more rapid hardening of concrete or smarter construction procedures.

Modifying and adapting structures

Activities of structural designers are gradually widening from design of new structures to upgrades of existing structures. Many buildings are partially dismantled and rebuilt to serve other functions. Many bridges are strengthened because of deterioration or increasing traffic loads. New techniques are developed to allow more efficient adaptation, upgrading or repair.

Diagnosis of structures

Investigation of the condition of an older structure can be a complicated task. The remaining bearing capacity should be determined taking into account of visible damage and a search for invisible defects. Monitoring equipment should be used in order to compensate lack of data. For some aspects procedures can be developed. The skill of the engineer is however indispensable.

Codes for the future

National and International codes focus on structural safety and serviceability of new structures. In future, other aspects will become of importance, such as life cycle design, high performance and defined performance materials, strengthening and repair of old structures, monitoring and inspection and design for low maintenance. All will demand strongly updated design recommendations.

Underground structures

Prognoses of the migration of people in the world show, that there will be an increasing desire to live in cities. Shortage of space has led already to underground structures of various natures.

A special challenge is to build in existing congested areas. Interesting recent examples can be given. On the other hand there is need for new concepts and innovative ideas in this field.

Building in condensed areas

As an alternative for underground structures, in urban areas structures can be built beyond existing structures. In this way more multi-level cities can be created providing larger spaces for living, working and recreation. Successful first applications can be given. In order to develop multi level cities in which it will be desirable to live new and innovative ideas are challenged.

Maintaining the cultural inheritance

Old structures, sometimes centuries old, have to be preserved in order to permanently fulfil their function as testimonies of a cultural past. Many conservation – and upgrading techniques have been developed, but their durability is often unknown.

Developing a modern infrastructure

Developing a modern infrastructure is and will be an everlasting task for many structural engineers. New concepts for bridges and tunnels must be developed and designs prepared in sometimes difficult boundary conditions. In recent times spectacular examples of new structures may be noted. Developing innovative methods is a must.

Innovative materials

The last decade has shown a revolutionary development of new types of concrete. After an increase of the concrete strength classes to C90/105, self-compacting concrete, ultra high strength concrete, high performance fibre concrete and the like have all attracted attention. Applications with the various new types of concrete testify their potential.

Architectural concrete and concrete structures

The beauty of structures, and their integration in the environment, is now finally gaining recognition as a criterion for design. The involvement of architects has generally led to an enrichment of the aesthetics of structures. New concrete types, for example coloured concrete, glass concrete and even transparent concrete trigger the fantasy of designers. High demands are imposed on the quality of construction.

Monitoring and inspection

Life cycle design requires new methods to predict durability of structures under their particular environment. The development of maintenance programs will be part of future design. It is necessary regularly to inspect or continuously monitor structures in order to record their inevitable degradation and to be able to adapt a suitable maintenance strategy. On the other hand advanced monitoring systems are necessary to investigate the condition of an existing structure, in order to take the right preservation or strengthening measures.

Designing structure against extreme loads

Natural catastrophes unfortunately are a part of human life. Earthquakes, gas explosions, floods have taken many casualties in the recent past. Structural design should opt always to save human lives as much as possible.


Financing of building projects is moreover a matter of private partners. Their involvement becomes more and more as an essential intermediate for the realisation of projects. How do these financial oriented organisations impact the market?

Design strategies for the future

Responsibilities in the building sector are changing. Worldwide there is a wish for transparency, diminishing the direct influence of the government during the building phase. How do we ensure that the technical knowledge necessary for construction will be continued for the future?

Official Language

Congress language is English.

No translation into other languages will be provided.

Written papers must all be in English.

Een kant en klare PC of zelf samenstellen?

20 juni 2015

Er zitten veel voordelen aan het aanschaffen van een desktop computer in plaats van een laptop. Het grote voordeel is dat de onderdelen van een desktop computer makkelijker en goedkoper te vervangen zijn en de hardware is vaak beter en sneller.
Maar wanneer je gekozen hebt om voor een desktop computer te gaan, kies je dan voor een kant en klare computer of stel je hem liever zelf samen?

Een kant en klare PC:

Een kant en klare computer wordt meestal verkocht als een compleet pakket. Het pakket bestaat uit alles wat je nodig hebt om de computer te gebruiken zoals uiteraard de computer kast, een monitor, muis en het toetsenbord.
Dit is uiteraard de meest efficiënte manier om een computer aan te schaffen, zeker wanneer je zelf niet veel verstand hebt van computers of geen hoge eisen stelt aan de computer.
Hoewel dit wellicht de meest gemakkelijke manier is om een computer aan te schaffen, is het absoluut goedkoper om de onderdelen los te kopen. Ook wordt een kant en klare computer vaak geleverd met software of programma’s die je misschien wel helemaal niet wilt gebruiken of zelfs per direct weer wilt deinstalleren.

Een PC zelf samenstellen

Hoewel deze optie niet geschikt is voor mensen zonder enige technische kennis, kan iemand met matige kennis en wat onderzoek prima zelf een computer samenstellen.
Op deze manier kun je zelf alle PC hardware samenstellen tegen een lagere prijs dan wanneer je een kant en klare PC koopt.
Het voornaamste pluspunt van een PC zelf samenstellen is dat de PC volledig aan jouw eisen zal voldoen. Of je nu een gaming PC wilt, een zakelijke PC of persoonlijke PC, de PC zal geheel aan jouw behoeftes aangepast zijn.
Hoewel deze optie uiteraard wat meer tijd kost dan een kant en klare PC te kopen heeft het zeker zijn voordelen.
Je zult niet alleen financieel goedkoper uit zijn, de PC voldoet helemaal aan jouw persoonlijke eisen en is makkelijk te upgraden wanneer dit nodig is in plaats van een geheel nieuwe kant en klare PC aan te moeten schaffen.

Legislative Summer School (LeX)

18 december 2014

European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence (Italy)

The LeX school is an intensive, 6-day program aimed at providing knowledge of the most significant ICT standards emerging for legislation, an understanding of their impact in the different phases of the legislative process, awareness of the tools based on legislative standards, and the ability to participate in the preparation and use of standard-compliant documents throughout the participate in law-making process.

The LeX school will address standards concerning different aspects of legislation: abstract (logical) ways of identifying legislative documents, ways of structuring legislative documents and data, ways of dealing with changes in the law, ways of distinguishing and representing the different stages of the life cycle of a law text (from first drafts, to parliamentary discussions, to amendments, to subsequent modifications), ways of defining and applying conceptual classifications to law texts, ways of building executable representations of legislative knowledge.

Online teaching materials

18 december 2014

The teaching materials used in the Legislative XML Summer School (LeX) European University Institute, San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence (Italy) are available online.

The LeX school is an intensive, 6-day program aimed at providing knowledge of the most significant ICT standards emerging for legislation, an understanding of their impact in the different phases of the legislative process, awareness of the tools based on legislative standards, and the ability to participate in the preparation and use of standard-compliant documents throughout the participate in law-making process.

Metalex V1.3

12 mei 2014


  • metalex-v1.3.zip


  • General update release of MetaLex.

Changes since previous release:

  • Four attribute groups have been added: identity attributes, descriptor attributes, temporal attributes, extended temporal attributes. All are optional.
  • Several elements have been added: JudicialDecision, AdministrativeDecision, InformalPart, Metadata.
  • Translations of the new elements have been added to the Dutch vocabulary. There is now also an incomplete Hungarian vocabulary.
  • There is a new translation of metalex into OWL.
  • Several bugs involving import statements have been fixed. Note that some versions of some validators may still complain about the import statement for XML. This statement is non-essential for the schema, and can be changed in order to suppress a warning in your validator of choice. See the comment in the schema files.
  • We have put some thought into the use of URI and URN resolvers, resulting in some small changes in the interpretation of attributes, and the addition of some new ones in the aforementioned attribute groups.
  • Metalex now really supports XLink.
  • All types in the schema have been renamed: we added the suffix _Type to distinguish the type names from the element names.

Please visit the MetaLex download repository at http://draco.leibnizcenter.org/relay (login: public, pass:public)

Legal Atlas 0.9b

12 mei 2014

Legal Atlas is a tool for viewing both spatial regulations and the associated geospatial information in the form of maps. It is a showcase of how MetaLex integration with existing standards, such as GML and OWL, can result in robust and feature-rich knowledge management solutions. Please read the included license.

Legal Atlas is being developed within the project Digitale Uitwisseling Ruimtelijke Plannen (DURP; digital exchange of spatial plans), initiated by the Dutch government. Legal Atlas enables dynamic references between spatial regulations (encoded in MetaLex format) and the associated geospatial information. This information is encoded using IMRO2006, the Dutch government standard for XML exchange of spatial plans. It is compatible with GML 3.1.
References between texts and plans are resolved via SPARQL queries on OWL models of both the regulation and the relevant geospatial information. These models are included in the distribution.

The current 0.9b version is in BETA stage, but is still under development. Please read the user guide provided below. Legal Atlas has been tested to work under Windows XP and Java 1.5. Older versions of Java will probably cause problems. Legal Atlas is an open source application, and depends on the OpenJUMP GIS application (licensed under GPL), and the Jena SemanticWeb framework.

Please visit the LegalAtlas download repository at:
http://relay.leibnizcenter.org/ (login: public, pass: public)