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The Eurocodes: A major milestone in the European standardization in construction

by Horst Bossenmayer, former Chairman of CEN/TC250

The Structural Eurocodes constitute a common set of technical rules for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), through its Technical Committee 250, has been responsible for their development. Following a Mandate of the European Commission, CEN/TC250 undertook the duty of drafting a set of 10 Eurocodes, intended to become European Standards. Nine Subcommittees have elaborated a set of well 58 Eurocode parts, as the result of collaboration between qualified experts from all National Members of CEN. The Eurocodes are currently at the phase of full implementation as National Standards.

Within the CEN system, great importance is given to the development of the Eurocodes. They cover the basis of design, actions on structures, design rules for different materials, as well as geotechnical and seismic design in a consistent way, based on the concept of limit states, and they incorporate the state-of-the-art in the relevant fields. By harmonizing the design rules throughout Europe, the Eurocodes will remove barriers to trade of construction products, facilitate the free circulation of engineering services, promote research and strengthen the competitiveness of the European construction industry in the international market. In other words, they will change the way engineering is applied in Europe.

The European Commission website on the Eurocodes addresses an audience that spans, but is not limited to, public administration officials, National Standardization Bodies, construction companies, practicing engineers, researchers, university teachers and students. In line with the Commission Recommendation 2003/887/EC on the implementation and use of the EN Eurocodes, it is intended to assist Member States, Accession and Candidate Countries in the procedure of implementing Eurocodes as National Standards. The interest on standards being dynamic, this website is also seen as a reference point for actions regarding maintenance, promotion, further harmonization and further development of the Eurocodes.

CEN/TC250 maintains an advisory role with respect to the website, has contributed to its contents and will continue to support its development.