The Eurocodes are a set of structural design codes for building and civil engineering works.
It is estimated that the Eurocodes are being used by up to 500,000 professional engineers across Europe, and the wider world. The Eurocodes are now widely accepted as the basis for structural design throughout Europe, allowing engineers to trade and tender for projects across the continent.
The Eurocode standards were adopted in Ireland in March 2010 under the designations I.S. EN 1990 to I.S. EN 1999 and incorporated into the Irish building regulations in 2012.
2nd Generation Eurocodes
The development of the 2nd generation Eurocodes was mandated by the European Commission in December 2012. This ambitious project to revise the Eurocodes is being overseen by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) technical committee, CEN/TC 250 – Structural Eurocodes.
The main goals of the 2nd generation Eurocodes will be to:
- Enhance the Eurocodes ease of use, providing clarity for the user;
- Incorporate new design, performance and robustness requirements;
- Reduce the number of nationally determined parameters (NDPs); and,
- Develop a number of new Eurocode parts to provide guidance on the following;
- Assessment and retrofitting of existing structures;
- Structural Glass; and,
- Actions on structures due to atmospheric icing and waves and currents.
As a result of this work the number of published Eurocode parts will increase from 58 to 64.
All stakeholders involved in construction projects (i.e. procurement bodies, regulators, designers, engineers and clients/owners) will need to consider how any changes to the Eurocodes might affect them.
Getting Involved in the Eurocodes
Have Your Say
The time has now come for the Irish construction sector to take the opportunity to have its say on the content of the revised Eurocode parts. This can be done by reviewing and commenting on the revised Eurocode parts via NSAI’s public enquiry portal, Your Standards Your Say when the Enquiry drafts are made available. Read more about the current status of revisions to the Eurocodes.
Join a Technical Committee
Irish experts are contributing to the development of the 2nd Generation Eurocodes. You can too by joining NSAI's technical committee on the Structural Eurocodes - NSAI/TC 15. The benefits of getting involved include:
- Gaining early access to information that will shape the direction of the construction sector over the next 10 years;
- Giving you, your organisation or association a voice in the development of the standards both at national and international level;
- Providing you, your organisation or association with an opportunity to raise any needs or concerns in relation to the codes which may well affect you or your business in the future;
- Increased opportunities for networking in the industry at national and international level; and,
- The work on standards is recognised by many professional institutions as a way of demonstrating continued professional development.
There is also an opportunity to influence and contribute to the revision of the associated Irish National Annexes (NAs) and national non-conflicting guidance documents developed by the NSAI that will accompany the revised Eurocodes.
The Enquiry stage of the draft 2nd generation Eurocode parts has started:
- prEN 1996-1-1 - Eurocode 6: "Design of masonry structures - Part 1-1: General rules for reinforced and unreinforced masonry structures" was the first draft made available in Q4 2019
- In September 2020, prEN 1990 – "Basis of structural and geotechnical design" was launched for Enquiry.
- September 2020 also saw the launch of the prEN 1993-1-1 - Eurocode 3: "Design of steel structures – Part 1-1 General rules and rules for buildings" Enquiry
- These Enquiry drafts will be followed in 2021 by the main parts to Eurocode 1 – "Actions on structures" and Eurocode 2 – "Design of concrete structures".
- Enquiry drafts for Eurocode 7 for geotechnical design (EN 1997) and Eurocode 5 on timber design (EN 1995) are expected in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
- Drafts of a new Eurocode, Eurocode 11 for Structural Glass, will also be issued in 2023.
The draft Eurocode parts will be available to the Irish public to review, comment on and download via the NSAI's web site Your Standards Your Say when the Enquiry stage for the respective draft begins.
Levels of safety relating to structural design are controlled at a national level and are addressed in the Eurocodes through a mechanism known as Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs). These NDPs are set out in the accompanying National Annex (NA) to each Eurocode part. NAs are maintained and revised in Ireland by the NSAI.
Through participation in NSAI/TC 15, all construction sector stakeholders have an opportunity to advise the NSAI on the appropriate content for the Irish National Annexes. This is also done through liaisons with other NSAI technical committees involved in construction such as:
- NSAI/TC 3 - Concrete Standards Consultative Committee
- NSAI/TC 8 – Timber
- NSAI/TC 16 – Fire Safety
Would you like to join a Standards Committee?
Along with the development of National Annexes to the Eurocodes, NSAI/TC 15 members can influence the development of national non-contradictory complementary information (NCCI) guidance documents which are maintained and published by the NSAI. These NCCI documents include:
- S.R. 325 - Recommendations for the design of masonry structures in Ireland to Eurocode 6, provides guidance on the design of masonry structures and on the use of masonry units (i.e. concrete blocks), mortar, ancillary components. It also establishes the minimum performance levels of such construction products in Ireland.
- S.R. 70 – Timber in construction – Eurocode 5 – Trussed rafters, sets out the requirements for the fabrication and use of timber trussed rafters; as well as guidance on design, structural analysis, bracing and site work for both trusses and roofs; and
- S.R. 71 - Timber in construction – Eurocode 5 – Span tables and guidelines which gives the maximum spans for a range of solid softwood structural members in buildings, such as floor and ceiling joists, rafters and roof purlins.
If you wish to participate in the standardisation process and contribute to the development of the 2nd Generation Eurocodes, their accompanying Irish NAs or associated NCCI documents please click below to register your interest.
View our Video Presentations on the Eurocodes:
- The Eurocodes in Ireland, Part 1: What are the Eurocodes?
- The Eurocodes in Ireland, Part 2: How to Get Involved
More useful links about the Eurocodes: