Solid structures such as navigation locks, weirs or bridges are mostly built using concrete or masonry and are instrumental in the operation of Germany’s federal waterways. It is the central task of the Solid Structures section to assess their reliability.
The BAW assesses the serviceability and load-bearing capacity of existing structures for purposes of expert opinions and consulting. In a first stage, we collect basic information to be able to analyse the issue brought to us as clearly as possible. This preliminary analysis is based on existing planning documents, site visits but also includes results from measurements, construction material analyses and geotechnical investigations. In the next step, we select the suitable computation method for describing the load-carrying behaviour and adequate verification methods, depending on the construction project at hand. These methods range from manual static calculations to highly complex numerical and probabilistic analyses.
Where it is required, we issue recommendations for procedures for early detection of critical building conditions, such as monitoring, or technically optimised proposals for structural reinforcement.
For new construction projects and extensive rehabilitation work of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), the BAW provides construction consultancy services in the form of feasibility studies and optimisation recommendations. Our tasks also include conducting research into innovative construction methods and assessing their possible uses in the field of solid hydraulic structures.