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Small Box Culvert Standard Update


The Australian Standard for small reinforced concrete box culverts, AS1597.1 was revised in 2010 for the first since 1974. 

The revision of the Standard means that there are a number of significant changes and additions that will affect manufacturers, designers, specifiers and contractors.

Some of the more significant changes to the new Standard are to do with sizes and proving load.  

  • Performance test loads for small box culverts have increased and are based on AS5100 design loads. The Proving Load (previously known as proof load) has been increased from 90 kN to 112 kN and the Ultimate Load has increased from 135 kN to 202 kN.
  • Table 2.5 of AS 1597.1 - 2010 provides 10 preferred internal dimensions for small box culvert units ranging from size class 300 mm span x 225 mm height up to 1200 mm span x 1200 mm height. This is a significant change as currently the range of sizes being manufactured throughout Australia is unregulated and uncontrolled. A nominated range of preferred internal dimensions will create efficiency in design and selection of culverts for specifiers, and also in the production and manufacture of units by suppliers. 

Other significant changes to the Standard that are worth noting include: 

  • Durability requirements have been updated to align with AS5100 and to reflect current design requirements. This includes:
    • Specification of durable concrete materials (e.g. aggregate durability, restriction on chemical content, use of blended cement).
    • Exposure classifications, concrete strength and cover to reinforcement. This
  • Minimum curing requirements for various methods (e.g. time, maturity, concrete strength) have been updated to reflect current practice and requirements.

Further information on the changes to the Standard can be found in the Concrete Pipe Association of Australasia (CPAA) Technical Note “Update – small box culverts and AS 1597.1”.

The latest version of AS 1597.1 – 2010 “Precast reinforced concrete box culverts – small” is now available. However, with the introduction of any new Standard a reasonable period of time is required to phase out previous manufacture and specification methods.

None currently available