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The European standards, developed extensively over last 30 years, are driven by the need for continuous evolution and their Authors’ pursuit of better EU-wide quality in civil engineering – combining safety, economy, and sustainable development. The adoption of theory of reliability as the basis for design has played a major role in shaping current geotechnical practice. However, it requires from practitioners a greater understanding of underlying uncertainties. Furthermore, a number of alternative approaches, not generally used in structural design, are also allowed, as some situations in geotechnical engineering require an individual approach. Moreover, the current trends in geoengineering increase the importance of risk assessment and management. The paper presents general philosophy guiding the geotechnical design and pointing to some of the ideas introduced by Eurocode 7 and its requirements, in relation to preexisting practice of geotechnical design in civil engineering.
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