Eurocodes - National Implementation
National implementation of EN Eurocodes by all EU Member States was scheduled for completion by March 2010. As the national member body of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), NSAI was responsible for ensuring that the Eurocode standards were available for use by the 2010 deadline.
This work involved evaluating all Eurocode parts. Before Eurocodes could be used for design purposes in a particular Member State, a national calibration period was required in order to facilitate the use of Eurocodes in that country.
About national annexes
Within the EU, safety of buildings and civil engineering works has always been the responsibility of individual Member States. This reflects national and regional variations in geography, climate, lifestyle and levels of protection.
In recognizing the competence and authority of Member States in this regard, Eurocodes have left certain design parameters (known as nationally determined parameters, or NDPs) open to national choice.
In fixing national choice for these NDPs, a national annex can be developed for each Eurocode part. Each annex may only include information on those parameters which are left open in the Eurocode for national choice, including:
- Values and/or classes where alternatives are given in the Eurocode
- Values to be used where a symbol only is give n in the Eurocode,
- Country-specific data (e.g. geographical, climatic, wind, map etc)
- The procedure to be used where alternative procedures are given in the Eurocode.
It may also contain:
- Decisions on the application of informative annexes
- References to non-contradictory, complementary information to assist the user to apply the Eurocode.
A national annexe may not be deemed necessary where a country accepts the Eurocode recommended values for all NDPs in a given Eurocode part.
Developing national annexes
National annexes are being developed by NSAI through its National Eurocodes Advisory Committee. This committee comprises a team of experts known as Liaison Engineers, plus representatives from a range of organizations with a stake in the construction industry, including:
- The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
- The Irish Concrete Federation
- The National Roads Authority
- The Office of Public Works
- Academic experts
- Other appropriate industry representatives.
So far, a number of national annexes have been published, with others out for public consultation.
Eurocodes cannot be used for design purposes until the corresponding national annexes (or a decision on the adoption of the recommended values for a given Eurocode part) are available.
Once a national annex is published for a given Eurocode part, a period of coexistence with the corresponding national design codes comes into effect. This period of coexistence exists until the end of the coexistence period of the last part in the related Eurocode package.
This ensures that national design codes can still be used until all of the relevant Eurocode parts are available for a particular design type. During this coexistence period, specifiers and designers are free to use both codes. When the coexistence period ends, the only design standards in place will be the Eurocodes.
Eurocodes and the Public Procurement Directive
Whenever a Eurocode part becomes available as a European Standard, it becomes covered by the Public Procurement Directive (PPD). During the coexistence period, public bodies are encouraged to call up the use of the Eurocode.
While the PPD allows the procuring body to accept other design codes, the supplier must demonstrate that these are equivalent to the relevant Eurocode parts.
Find out More
For further information on Eurocodes contact:
Technical Secretary to the National Eurocodes Advisory Committee
T: +353 61 200 941