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BSI published the sixth edition of BS 1377-1:2016 Methods of test for soils for civil engineering purposes – General requirements and sample preparation on 29 July 2016.
First published in 1948, and last updated to its fifth edition in 1990, some would say that an update to the Standard was long overdue, but the previous edition served the geotechnical laboratory testing community superbly well for over a quarter of a century.

The new edition begins the process of overhaul of BS 1377 as a result of “Eurocode 7”, and in particular the publication of the first of the new International Laboratory Testing Standards in the BS EN ISO 17892 series. Three have already been published, while a fourth is expected before the end of 2016 and there are another eight in the pipeline for 2017/2018.

The main changes to BS 1377-1 are:
i. Extend the calibration interval for balances from 6-monthly to annual (this alone should save most laboratories at least the cost of the new Standard in one year);
ii. Amend the requirements for calibration certificates to bring them into line with BS EN ISO 17025;
iii. Make reference to the BS EN ISO 17892 series of Standards, instead of the superseded BS 1377 tests, where these have been published;
iv. Refer to ‘water content’ instead of ‘moisture content’ (BS EN ISO 17892-1); and
v. Remove references to withdrawn BS Standards, and replace with the current BS, EN or ISO Standards.
The sixth edition is not a complete re-write, but it is an important stepping stone as more and more daughter-Standards from Eurocode 7 appear.
BS 1377-3: 1990, which is currently being rewritten, is the next scheduled revision.
Copies of BS 1377-1:2016 are available to purchase (hard or e-copy) from the BSI shop here.

Roger Brown
Associate Director – Laboratories
Fugro GeoConsulting Ltd
T +44 (0) 1491 820815 | M +44 (0) 782 783 9019 |