STEEL experts have warned that the introduction of European design codes will cost the sector millions of pounds if it is to be up to speed on the new rules.
Designers and consultants have been given a deadline of March 31,2010, to fully implement new structural Eurocodes.
But experts have warned that ensuring the industry understands the most significant changes will cost over £1 million.
According to Dr David Moore, technical manager at the British Constructional Steelwork Association, dissemination of the major changes could cost £1 million alone, a figure that will snowball once the cost of computer software is added.
He said: 'We estimate that it will cost around £1 million to update our publications and hold a limited series of seminars to discuss the changes. On top of that you have to include the cost of developing computer software.'
Dr Moore claimed that, although most of the calculations will remain the same, there are significant changes in terminology between British Standards and the Eurocodes that could cause confusion.
He said: 'The tools to explain the terminology changes need to be put in place.'
The new design codes will affect all structural materials including concrete, timber, masonry and composite structures and must be fully accepted by March 31, 2010.