Solid as a rock

The International Organisation for Standardisation has developed a standard that will help civil engineers accurately identify the types of rock mass that large structures such as dams are built on as well as the potential engineering problems they pose.

The ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) has developed a standard that will help civil engineers accurately identify the types of rock mass that large structures such as dams are built on as well as the potential engineering problems they pose.

ISO 14689-1:2003, ‘Geotechnical investigation and testing – Identification and classification of rock – Part 1: Identification and description’, identifies and describes rock material and mass on the basis of mineralogical composition, genetic aspects, structure, grain size, discontinuities and other parameters.

‘The correct identification and description of the physical and chemical properties of rock are the fundamental basis for the design of buildings. If the rock was not identified and described correctly, the safety of these buildings and structures may be endangered and therefore the lives of many people as well,’ says Dr. Volker Eitner, Secretary of the subcommittee that developed the new standard.

In addition to its use by engineers, ISO 14689-1 will be of value to consultant geologists, construction companies and building authorities.

The development of Part 2 of the ISO 14689 standard is currently underway. This will provide the data in an XML format to facilitate data exchange independent of any hardware or software system that is used.

ISO 14689-1:2003 costs 77 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes.

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