The author presents a general approach to a posteriori error estimation and adaptive mesh design for finite element models where the solution is subjected to inequality constraints. The local weighted residuals, that result from an extension of the so-called Dual-Weighted-Residual method, are used in a feed-back process for generating economical meshes. Based on several model problems, a general concept is proposed, which provides a systematic way of adaptive errorcontrol for problems stated in form of variational inequalities.

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