Eurocodes – frequently asked questions

A list of answers to the most common questions regarding the Eurocodes.

What is the purpose of Eurocodes?

The Eurocode standards provide common structural design rules for everyday use. That include the design of whole structures and construction products.

The purpose of the Eurocodes is:

  • to harmonize the market for construction products and engineering services
  • to prove compliance of construction works with the specified requirements for mechanical resistance, stability and safety in case of fire
  • to provide a basis for specifying contracts for construction works and related services

What are the benefits of using eurocodes?

The benefits from the implementation and use of the Eurocodes are to:

  • lead to a more uniform level of constructions safety and performance across Europe
  • provide a common understanding between owners, operators and users, designers, contractors and manufacturers
  • lead to a more uniform level of safety in construction in Europe
  • facilitate the exchange of construction services
  • facilitate the marketing and use of structural components, kits, materials and products
  • allow the preparation of common design aids and software
  • increase the competitiveness of the European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their world-wide activities
  • provide a common basis for research and development
  • lead to a more uniform level of safety in construction in Europe

The Eurocodes support the Commission’s Single Market policy on free movement of people, goods and services related to construction.

Where to buy Eurocodes?

Eurocodes can be purchased from Danish Standards at: https://webshop.ds.dk/en-gb/ - use the preview function to view a limited set of pages for free.

We offer both pdf and hardcopy versions of the Eurocode standards.

How many Eurocodes are there?

The Eurocodes are divided into 10 areas, each covering specific aspects of the subject. In total there are 58 Eurocodes parts available.

  • Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design (EN 1990)
  • Eurocode 1: Actions on structures (EN 1991)
  • Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures (EN 1992)
  • Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures (EN 1993)
  • Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and concrete structures (EN 1994)
  • Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures (EN 1995)
  • Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures (EN 1996)
  • Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design (EN 1997)
  • Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance (EN 1998)
  • Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures (EN 1999)

Are Eurocodes mandatory?

It is mandatory that the Member States accept designs to the EN Eurocodes. By March 2010 the Eurocodes are mandatory for the specification of European public works and are intended to become the de facto standard for the private sector. 

When were Eurocodes introduced?

In 1975, the Commission of the European Community decided on an action programme in the field of construction, based on article 95 of the Treaty. The objective of the programme was the elimination of technical obstacles to trade and the harmonisation of technical specifications.

For fifteen years, the Commission, with the help of a Steering Committee with Representatives of Member States, conducted the development of the Eurocodes programme, which led to the first generation of European codes in the 1980's.

In 1989, the Commission and the Member States of the EU and EFTA decided, based on an agreement between the commission and CEN, to transfer the preparation and the publication of the Eurocodes to CEN through a series of Mandates, in order to provide them with a future status of European Standard (EN).

Eurocode standards recognise the responsibility of regulatory authorities in each Member State and have safeguarded their right to determine values related to regulatory safety matters at national level where these continue to vary from State to State. 

How are Eurocodes implemented

The implementation of an EN Eurocode Part has three phases:

  1. Translation period (max 1 year). The National Standards Bodies may start the translation of a Eurocode Part in authorised national languages at the latest at the Date of Availability.

  2. National Calibration period (max 2 years). The Member States should fix the Nationally Determined Parameters.

    At the end of this period, the national version of the EN Eurocode Part with the National Annex will be published by the National Standards Bodies. Also, the Member States should adapt the National Provisions so that the Eurocode Part can be used on their territory.

  3. Coexistence period. During the coexistence period, which starts at the end of the National Calibration period, the Eurocode Part can be used, just as the presently existing national system can also be used.

    The coexistence period of a Eurocode Package will last up to a maximum time of three years after the national publication of the last Part of a Package. Member States shall make sure that all the Parts of the related Package can be used without ambiguity on their territory by adapting their National Provisions as necessary. Thus, all conflicting National Standards in a Package should be withdrawn a maximum of 5 years after the Date of Availability of the last available Part in the Package.