New approach using direct crack width calculations of the minimum reinforcement in tensile RC elements is presented. Verification involves checking whether the provided reinforcement ensures that the crack width that may result from the thermal-shrinkage effects does not exceed the limit value. The Eurocode provisions were enriched with addendums derived from the German national annex. Three levels of accuracy of the analysis were defined - the higher the level applied, the more significant reduction in the amount of reinforcement required can be achieved. A methodology of determining the minimum reinforcement for crack width control on the example of a RC retaining wall is presented. In the analysis the influence of residual and restraint stresses caused by hydration heat release and shrinkage was considered.
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