The Eurocodes are the ten European standards (EN; harmonised technical rules) specifying how structural design should be conducted within the European Union (EU). These were developed by the European Committee for Standardisation upon the request of the European Commission.
The purpose of the eurocodes is to provide:
- a means to prove compliance with the requirements for mechanical strength and stability and safety in case of fire established by European Union law.
- a basis for construction and engineering contract specifications.
- a framework for creating harmonized technical specifications for building products
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. The Eurocodes therefore replace the existing national building codes published by national standard bodies (e.g. BS 5950), although many countries had a period of co-existence. Additionally, each country is expected to issue a National Annex to the Eurocodes which will need referencing for a particular country (e.g. The UK National Annex). At present take up of Eurocodes is slow on private sector projects and existing national codes are still widely used by engineers.
Each of the codes (except EN 1990) is divided into a number of Parts covering specific aspects of the subject. In total there are 58 EN Eurocode parts distributed in the ten Eurocodes (EN 1990 – 1999).
The eurocodes are published as a separate European Standards, each having a number of parts: