Structural Code requirements on inspection and maintenance of concrete structures: the Spanish case

Structural Code requirements on inspection and maintenance of concrete structures: the Spanish case

Phenomenological Aspects of Civil Engineering (PACE) - an International Congress
Volume 3 - Issue 1 - PACE-2023

José R. Martí-Vargas Juan M. Carmen Castro-Bugallo Juan A. Mateu-Sánchez


The maintenance needs of concrete structures have often resulted in costly interventions, not only due to the absence or lack of an adequate inspection and maintenance plan, but also as consequence of a common practice in the design-build process focused on solving requirements under "instantaneous" economic conditions. This situation is not compatible with the new paradigm of environmental, social and economic sustainability, so the planning of inspections and maintenance takes special relevance by considering economic conditioning factors of "deferred" scope. In this context, this paper presents an historical perspective of the main Spanish documentary references that, in the form of regulations and guides, have been conceived to establish mandatory specifications and/or provide tools to facilitate the inspection and maintenance of concrete structures. It is stated that, in the case of Spain, there have been no specific project provisions and practical guides for concrete structures oriented to facilitate their inspection and maintenance until well into the twenty-first century. The first requirements on maintenance of concrete structures appeared in the Structural Concrete Code approved in 2008, which considered the need of a complete documentary archive and the performance of inspections at different levels (routine, major and special). Afterwards, the new Structural Code 2022 introduced an extended approach within the aforementioned “deferred” scope which includes additional prescriptions focused on the Maintenance Plan, the assessment of existing structures and the management of concrete structures during their service life.


Concrete; Structure; Inspection; Maintenance; Assessment; Code, Guide.