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Eurocodes Introduction

As part of its drive to overcome technical barriers to trade, the EU has mandated a system of structural design codes known as Eurocodes for application in the field of construction and civil engineering.

Eurocodes are scheduled to replace national codes by March 2010, when EU Member States will be required to withdraw any national standards in conflict with the Eurocodes.

What do Eurocodes cover?

There are 10 Eurocodes comprising 58 individual parts or standards. The first 2 parts – Eurocode 0 and Eurocode 1 – are common to all design situations. Eurocodes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 are material-specific. The others are specialist codes relating to geotechnical and seismic aspects.
  • EN1990 Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design
  • EN1991 Eurocode 1: Actions on structures
  • EN1992 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures
  • EN1993 Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures
  • EN1994 Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and concrete structures
  • EN1995 Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures
  • EN1996 Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures
  • EN1997 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design
  • EN1998 Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance
  • EN1999 Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures.

How Eurocodes can benefit business

Eurocodes have been developed principally for the purpose of harmonizing the market for goods and services in the construction sector. They:
  • Provide common design criteria and methods to fulfil the specified 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, users, designers, contractors and manufacturers of construction products
  • Facilitate the exchange of construction services between Member states
  • Facilitate the marketing and use of structural components and kits in Member states
  • Facilitate the marketing and use of materials and constituent products that affect design calculations in Member states
  • Provide a common basis for research and development in the construction sector
  • Allow the preparation of common design aids and software
  • Increase the competitiveness of European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their world-wide activities.

Origins of Eurocodes

In 1975 the European Commission embarked upon a long-term programme to eliminate technical obstacles to trade.

For 15 years, a steering group established by the Commission and made up of representatives from Member States devised a set of harmonized technical rules for the structural design of construction works. By the late 1980s, the first generation of European construction design codes was published.
In 1989, the Commission transferred the preparation and publication of the Eurocodes to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). Since then, CEN has worked on developing the Eurocodes into a comprehensive set of European Standards (ENs).

Eurocodes and Ireland

As the national member body of CEN, and the national publisher of all European Standards, NSAI has spearheaded the Eurocodes National Implementation Programme via its National Eurocodes Consultative Committee.

For more information on the continuing Eurocodes work in Ireland go the the National Eurocodes Consultative Committee

You can also contact:

Yvonne Wylde
Technical Secretary to the National Eurocodes Consultative Committee
T: +353 01 8073800
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