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New book studies seismology in Gibraltar

By Mesod Belilo

The structural design of buildings is very complex matter which is strictly regulated by a number of Codes of Practice.

In Gibraltar we have traditionally come under the British Standards, but in recent years Britain has worked closely with its European neighbours, arriving at accepted European Codes.

There are codes for establishing the weight of materials, the capacity of different building materials to take direct and indirect loading, wind loads, live loads, etc.

These values apply universally.

There is one area of structural design that depends on geographical location, and that is seismicity.

Seismic activity varies substantially from country to country.

Book cover

There is a British Standard (BS EN 1998) for seismic design of civil engineering and building structures which relates to the British Isles and is hardly relevant to Gibraltar.

A more relevant code that has been relied on locally is the Spanish NCSE-02 Code of Practice.

This latter Code maps out the recording of seismic movements in the various locations of the Iberian Peninsula over the last 200 years.

Michael Millgate has taken it upon himself to make in-depth study of this Spanish Code and derive from it all relevant data applicable to Gibraltar.

He has produced a book entitled ‘Seismic Hazard and Ground Response Analysis in Gibraltar, Themes in Urban Seismology’, which has very recently been published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

On January 15, Mr Millgate officially launched his book at the University of Gibraltar in front of a wide representation of engineers from Government Departments, Consultants Contractors.

It is Mr Millgate’s hope and intention that his book will be recognised and accepted by the local Building Control Office as an Annexe to BS EN 1998, in lieu of the NCSE-02 Code that has been relied on in Gibraltar to date.

Mr Millgate is a Chartered Structural Engineer and a Partner of Belilos Ltd, Gibraltar’s oldest consulting civil and structural engineers practice.