Bearing Structure-FMEA: Preventive Quality Control in Civil Engineering

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Bearing Structure-FMEA: Preventive Quality Control in Civil Engineering

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Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) was developed to ensure the quality of industry products. Possible errors should be found in an early stage to be prevented beforehand respectively to minimize the consequences by taking the appropriate measures. FMEA is already used for several decades in the field of mechanical engineering, especially in the area of aeronautics, and there, it proved its worth in many ways. In the line of a project promoted by the research initiative “Zukunft Bau”, a guideline “Bearing Structure-FMEA” was drafted defining the rules to execute a FMEA in civil engineering. The Bearing Structure-FMEA confines itself to secure the bearing capacity and the service ability. Aspects, e.g. of building physics, are not considered but can be integrated in future.


The so-called failure analysis and optimization session is an important instrument for the Bearing Structure-FMEA. There, the bearing concept will be presented to all persons involved in planning respectively producing the bearing structure. Possible errors will be found and evaluated in a mutual discussion. Next to the guideline that explains the course of events and the background in a precise way, also lead documents for a timber and a brickwork construction are at anyone’s disposal. These are designed to be used nearly without any background knowledge and to be assigned to comparable objects.


All relevant information is outlined in a 3-page direction (Excel-files available on request):

  • Guideline
  • Direction page
  • Annex1_brickwood_construction
  • Annex2_brickwood_construction_forms
  • Annex3_timber_construction
  • Annex4_timber_construction_forms