Principles of the Eurocodes
The Eurocodes are a set of European Standards for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works. They are drafted by Technical Committee 250 (TC250) of CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation.
In the first place, the Eurocodes have been created for the structural engineer and have to be included in the design and calculation process of buildings and all other types of structures. They refeer to: geotechnical aspects, structural fire design, situations including earthquakes, execution, temporary structures and so on.
With the Eurocodes, uniform levels of safety in construction in Europe will be guaranteed. They also form a common and transparent basis for fair competition. Furthermore, they facilitate the exchange of construction services and broaden the use of materials and structural components.
The Eurocodes are a series of 10 European standards, with each of these codes consisting of several parts:
- EN 1990: Basis of structural design (the head core)
- EN 1991: Actions on structures (10 individual parts)
- EN 1992: Design of concrete structures (4 parts)
- EN 1993: Design of steel structures (20 parts)
- EN 1994: Design of composite steel and concrete structures (3 parts)
- EN 1995: Design of timber structures (3 parts)
- EN 1996: Design of masonry structures (4 parts)
- EN 1997: Geotechnical design (2 parts)
- EN 1998: Design of structures for earthquake resistance (6 parts)
- EN 1999: Design of aluminium structures (5 parts)
The diagram below shows the relation between the different Eurocode parts:
The National Annexes allow each member state to take into account its own local differences concerning geography, climate and traditional building practices. The safety level however remains the responsibility of the government of each member state and differs from state to state.
The table below lists to official links to some National Annexes.
Eurocodes beyond Europe
The Eurocodes are a set of standards that are recognised as design codes of high quality and coherence. They can be used worldwide and, owing to their National Annexes, can be adapted for use in any country.
Moreover, many countries which used to have structural codes based on former National Standards (e.g. BS, DIN, NF...), they needed to change their code.
Eurocode promotion occurred in following countries beyond Europe:
- The European Neighbouring Countries of Eastern Europe,
- The European Neighbouring Countries of the Mediterranean Basin,
- The Western Balkan Countries,
- The Pacific Rim, e.g. Australia and New Zealand,
- The Indian Subcontinent,
- South Africa,
- Latin America