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The Eurocodes are seen as leading the way in structural codes. Their flexibility enables adoption and use not only within Europe, but internationally. This feature has been recognized by several countries outside Europe and they are already committed to adopting Eurocodes.

The primary objectives of the Eurocodes are to:

  • Provide common design criteria and methods of meeting necessary requirements for mechanical resistance, stability and resistance to fire, including aspects of durability and economy
  • Provide a common understanding regarding the design of structures between owners, operators and users, designers, contractors and manufacturers of construction products
  • Facilitate the marketing and use of structural components and kits in EU Members States
  • Facilitate the marketing and use of materials and constituent products, the properties of which enter into design calculations
  • Be a common basis for research and development, in the construction industry
  • Allow the preparation of common design aids and software
  • Increase the competitiveness of the European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their global activities.

 








   
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The structural Eurocodes are divided into 10 areas:

Base Eurocode - Basis of structural design
Needed for use with all other Eurocodes

Eurocode 1 Series - Action on structures
Eurocodes and related information on loading

Eurocode 2 Series - Design of concrete structures
Eurocodes and related information on concrete

Eurocode 3 Series - Design of steel structures
Eurocodes and related information on steel structures

Eurocode 4 Series - Design on composite steel and concrete structures
Eurocodes and related information on composites

Eurocode 5 Series - Design of timber structures
Eurocodes and related information on timber

Eurocode 6 Series - Design of masonry structures
Eurocodes and related information on masonry

Eurocode 7 Series - Geotechnical design
Eurocodes and related information on geotechnics

Eurocode 8 Series - Design of structures for earthquake resistance
Eurocodes and related information on seismic regions

Eurocode 9 Series - Design of aluminium structures
Eurocodes and related information on aluminium


See the full list of British Standards that are replaced by the Eurocodes

How do I use the Eurocodes?

The Eurocodes are designed to be used as a suite of documents, which means that for most projects more than one code will be needed e.g. BS EN 1990 is always required.

In addition, Eurocodes are designed to be used with a National Annex, which is available separately but which is essential for compliance with the Code.

Other documents required for using Eurocodes are the so-called Non-Contradictory Complementary Information (NCCI) which includes BSI Standards and PD documents. The status of these documents can vary. As the name suggests they provide supplementary material that may be useful but are not always essential for compliance with the Eurocodes.

Other documents include Execution Standards, which provide requirements for execution of structures that have been designed to Eurocodes. 

So what happens with the standards I currently use?

Following publication of a European standard BSI is obliged to withdraw conflicting standards i.e. those within the same scope and field of application as the European standard. Where the national standard is not in a one to one relationship with the European standard the national standard shall be amended or revised to delete the conflicting requirements and to reflect the changed scope.

Withdrawn documents are still available and remain in the BSI catalogue for historical information purposes but a BSI committee no longer maintains withdrawn standards. That means that there is no 5 year review when a committee considers the currency of a standard and decides whether to confirm, revise, or withdraw it. 

What are National Annexes and how do I use them?

In order to allow for the variety of climatic and other factors across the European Union each Member State may produce a National Annex for each of the 58 Eurocode parts. This will include:

  • Alternative values to essential safety levels
  • Country specific data (geographical, climatic, etc.)
  • Alternative procedures.

It may also contain:

  • Decisions on the application of informative annexes
  • References to non-contradictory complementary information (NCCI).

Where a National Annex is published it is essential to use it in order to comply with the Eurocode.

Where no National Annex is available or no Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs) are chosen the choice of the relevant values (e.g. the recommended value), classes or alternative method will be the responsibility of the designer, taking into account the conditions of the project and the National provisions.

What are NCCI and how do I use them?

NCCI are documents that the National committees consider useful for assisting the user to apply the Eurocode. They are not essential for compliance with the Eurocode but may provide background material or other guidance.

They have been approved by the BSI Committee and are usually listed in Clause NA.4 of the National Annex.

This does not mean that all NCCI documents are produced by BSI however. They are not necessarily British Standards and may be published by other organisations. 


What are Execution Standards and how do I use them?

These documents have been produced in support of the Eurocodes and are applicable to designs in accordance with the Eurocodes.

The Masonry Eurocode includes its own execution part (BS EN 1996-2) but other areas such as Concrete, Steel, Geotechnics have separate documents, outside the Eurocodes suite dealing with execution and workmanship.


Concise Eurocode for Design of Timber Structures: BS EN 1995: Eurocodes 5
Julian Marcroft
Read more and buy the guide for Eurocodes timber structures

 

Concise Eurocodes: Geotechnical Design – BS EN 1997: Eurocode 7
Brian Simpson
Read more and buy the guide for Eurocodes geotechnical design

 

Structural Eurocodes: Extracts from the Structural Eurocodes for Students of Structural Design (PP 1990)
Professor John Roberts, Haigh Gulvanessian, Buick Davison, Andrew Bond and Peter Watt
Read more and buy the leading guide for engineering students

 

Concise Eurocodes. Loadings on Structures BS EN 1991. Eurocode 1
Ian Burgess, Amy Green, Anthony Abu
Read more and buy the Eurocodes guide to wind loading

The Essential Guide to Eurocodes Transition
Edited by John Roberts
Read more and buy guidance for Eurocode transition


Get the practical advice from industry experts on the structural Eurocodes, how to use them and why they are so important.

See all transcripts 

  • Sean Daly

Eurocode training at BSI

See the video
See the transcript

  • Professor Haig Gulvanessian


How shall businesses prepare themselves for Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
What will this mean for the industry
See the video
See the transcript
Why did the industry go down this route
See the video
See the transcript

 

  • Chris Hendy



Do you need any more documents than the Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
Do you need any more documents than the Eurocodes 2
See the video
See the transcript
How to prepare for Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
Steel concrete composite bridge construction - an example
See the video
See the transcript

 

  • Steve Denton




Positive Message to companies looking to adopt Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
How have you prepared for Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
How have you prepared for Eurocodes 2
See the video
See the transcript
Challenges with Eurocodes
See the video
See the transcript
How to manage and prepare for the change
See the video
See the transcript

 

  • Keerthi Ranasinghe
About Eurocode 5 - Timber
See the video
See the transcript

New M5 bridge at Exeter lifted into place

BS EN Eurocodes – The implications of use with withdrawn BS Standards

Eurocodes: the new British standards for structural design
by Haig Gulvanessian, chairman of ICE ’s Eurocodes expert panel

Visit the Eurocodes news archive


Frequently asked questions about Eurocodes

What are Eurocodes?

Structural Eurocodes are a set of harmonized European standards for the design of buildings and civil engineering structures. There are 10 Eurocodes made up of 58 parts that will be adopted in all EU Member states.

In the UK, they will replace over 50 existing British Standards that were withdrawn on 31 March 2010 when full implementation of the Eurocodes will take place.

Eurocodes are a recommended means of giving a presumption of conformity to the essential requirements of the Construction Products Regulation for products that bear CE Marking, as well as the preferred reference for technical specifications in public contracts.

Eurocodes cover the basis of structural design, actions on structures, the design of concrete, steel, composite steel and concrete, timber, masonry and aluminium structures, geotechnical design and the design of structures for earthquake resistance.


How do I use Eurocodes?

Eurocodes are designed to be used as a suite of documents, which means that for most projects more than one code will be needed e.g. BS EN 1990 Basis of Structural Design is always required.

In addition, Eurocodes are designed to be used with a National Annex, which is available separately but is essential for compliance with the Code.

Other documents required for using Eurocodes are the so-called Non-Contradictory Complementary Information (NCCI) documents. The status of these documents can vary. As the name suggests they provide supplementary material, that may be useful, but are not always essential for compliance with the Eurocodes.

Other documents include Execution Standards, which provide requirements for execution of structures that have been designed in accordance with Eurocodes.


What are National Annexes and how do I use them?

In order to allow for the variety of climatic and other factors across the European Union each Member State may produce a National Annex for each of the 58 Eurocode parts.

This will include:

  • Alternative values
  • Country specific data (geographical, climatic, etc.)
  • Alternative procedures.

It may also contain:

  • Decisions on the application of informative annexes
  • References to non-contradictory complementary information (NCCI).

Where a National Annex is published it is essential to use it to comply with the Eurocode.

Where no National Annex is available or no Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs) are chosen the choice of the relevant values (e.g. the recommended value), classes or alternative method will be the responsibility of the designer, taking into account the conditions of the project and the National provisions.


What are Nationally Determined Parameters?

The foreword of each Eurocode states that it recognizes the responsibilities of regulatory authorities in each Member State and protects their right to determine values related to regulatory safety matters at a national level where these continue to vary from State to State.

Accordingly, each Eurocode contains a number of parameters which are left open for national choice, called Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs). The NDPs account for possible differences in geographical or climatic conditions, or in ways of life, as well as different levels of protection that may prevail at national, regional or local level. Recommended values for the NDPs are also provided in the Eurocodes.


What are NCCI and how do I use them?

NCCI are documents that the National committees consider useful for assisting the user to apply the Eurocode. They are not essential for compliance with the Eurocode but may provide background material or other guidance.

They have been approved by the BSI Committee and are usually listed in Clause NA.4 of the National Annex.

This does not mean that all NCCI documents are produced by BSI however. They are not necessarily British Standards and may be published by other organisations.


What are Execution Standards and how do I use them?

These documents have been produced in support of the Eurocodes and are applicable to designs in accordance with the Eurocodes.
The Masonry Eurocode includes its own execution part (BS EN 1996-2) but other areas such as Concrete, Steel, and Geotechnics have separate documents, outside the Eurocodes suite dealing with execution and workmanship.


How will Eurocodes be maintained and developed?

Eurocodes will be maintained and developed by the CEN/TC250 committee. Their responsibilities will include:

  • Correction of errors
  • Technical and editorial improvements
  • Technical amendments with regard to urgent matters of health and safety
  • Resolution of questions of interpretation
  • Elimination of inconsistencies and misleading statements.

They will also approve any corrigendum (e.g. removal of printing and linguistic errors) or amendment (e.g. modification, addition or deletion of specific parts), as appropriate.

In addition, future editions of the Eurocodes, such as new annexes or parts and eventually new Eurocodes will be needed to include guidance reflecting new European Union policies, innovative design methods, construction techniques, new materials, products and the like. 


What are the benefits of using the new Eurocodes?

  • They will facilitate the acquisition of public sector contracts
  • They will facilitate the acquisition of European contracts
  • They are among the most advanced technical views prepared by the best informed groups of experts in their fields across Europe
  • They are the most comprehensive treatment of subjects, with many aspects not previously codified now being covered by agreed procedures
  • They provide a design framework and detailed implementation rules which are valid across Europe and likely to find significant usage worldwide
  • They provide common design criteria and methods of meeting necessary requirements for mechanical resistance, stability and resistance to fire
  • They provide a common understanding regarding the design of structures between owners, operators and users, designers, contractors and manufacturers of construction products
  • They facilitate the marketing and use of structural components and kits in EU Member States
  • They facilitate marketing and use of materials and constituent products, the properties of which enter into design calculations
  • They enable the preparation of common design aids and software
  • They Increase competitiveness of European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their global activities.

Have all of the Eurocodes been published?

Yes, BSI has now published all of the harmonized codes and national annexes.

The British Standards referred to in Part A of the Building Regulations were withdrawn on the 31st of March 2010 and be replaced by a new, more technologically sophisticated set of British Standards - the Eurocodes


What happens to the standards I currently use?

Following publication of a European standard, BSI is obliged to withdraw conflicting standards i.e. those within the same scope and field of application as the European standard. Where the national standard is not in a one to one relationship with the European standard, the national standard shall be amended or revised to delete the conflicting requirements and to reflect the changed scope.

Withdrawn documents are still available and remain in the BSI catalogue for historical information purposes but a BSI committee no longer maintains withdrawn standards. That means that there is no 5-year review when a committee considers the currency of a standard and decides whether to confirm, revise, or withdraw it.


What happens if I continue to use the old British Standards?

BSI committees have stopped updating the British Standards that were withdrawn on the 31st of March 2010, so designers need to be mindful of insurance and liability issues if they continue to use them.


Is there a legal or insurance-related risk arising from continuing to use the old British Standards?

In any legal proceedings relating to structural design, the courts and other dispute-resolution forums will refer to Eurocodes – the state-of-the-art standards – to reach their decisions. Continuing to use withdrawn standards could put structural designers and their insurers at increasing risk.

There is a risk that with a dual system that engineers will use codes to suit themselves and  this could introduce further confusion and risk.


Which projects use Eurocodes?

The choice of which standards to use will be influenced by EU DIRECTIVES such as those on public procurement and construction products, which are enacted in the UK as the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and the Construction Products Regulations 1991 respectively. As such, most UK public sector organizations, utilities and product manufacturers intend to use Eurocodes for all new designs after April 2010.

The Highways Authority (England Wales and Northern Ireland) will expect new designs to be in accodance with Eurocodes after March 2010. The HA requirements will be described in an Advice Note (an IAN) which will be published shortly. The actual standards to be used on a project will be defined in the AIP (Approval in Principle) document for each contract.

Network Rail will require new work from March 2010 to be in accordance with Eurocodes.


Many engineers are not ready for the new British Standards, why does BSI not postpone withdrawal?

Both BSI and the Government have a legal obligation to meet the agreed date for Europe-wide implementation of the Eurocodes (i.e. 31 March 2010). The CEN agreement to create and apply harmonized standards is made between European governments and then delegated to their National Standards Bodies.


How can I purchase Eurocodes?

Eurocodes are published and sold in each country by the National Standards Body and in the United Kingdom can be purchased from BSI at http://shop.bsigroup.com/eurocodes.



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