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European Commission >JRC >IPSC >ELSA

Eurocodes

Support to the implementation, harmonization and further development of the Eurocodes

Background

The Eurocodes are the European norms establishing a set of common technical rules for the design of economical and safe buildings and civil engineering works, which will ultimately replace the differing rules in the various Member States.

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

  • lead to a more uniform level of constructions safety across Europe;
  • facilitate the free movement of construction services, structural components/kits, materials and products;
  • increase the competitiveness of the European construction industry;
  • provide a common basis for research and development.

The Eurocodes constitute a key instrument for the application of the Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC) and the Public Procurement Directive (2004/18/EC). They are also the framework for drawing up harmonised technical specifications for construction products. A Commission Recommendation (2003/887/EC) calls for a shared effort between the Commission, Member States and industry.

Objectives

The general aim of the project was to contribute to the implementation, harmonisation, international promotion and further development of the Eurocodes. The following five objectives were pursued:

  • harmonisation of European design of constructions and construction products;
  • implementation of the Eurocodes (training programme);
  • international promotion of the Eurocodes;
  • achieving increased protection of constructions against earthquakes and fire;
  • fostering innovation in construction.

The JRC activities developed in close collaboration with stakeholders, namely CEN/TC250, European technology platforms, national standards bodies, national authorities, academia, international technical and scientific organisations, research institutions and industry.

Major achievements

A strategy for training and promotion of the Eurocodes has been discussed with relevant partners. According to this strategy, the JRC organised a number of workshops [link to events] and produced a series of leaflets and booklets [link to publications].

A series of IT tools were developed, namely:

  • Eurocodes website, http://eurocodes.jrc.ec.europa.eu, with the purpose to collect and disseminate information on the Eurocodes;
  • Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs) database, as a fundamental source of data for further harmonisation;
  • centralised Eurocodes helpdesk, with the objective to assist national standards bodies and CEN/TC250 in maintenance of the Eurocodes;
  • background documents database, which is a unique source of information on the theoretical justification of technical rules, on the recommendations for the NDPs and on the National decisions about the choice of the NDPs.

A pilot project for harmonisation has been agreed with CEN/TC250 and international technical and scientific organisations. The main objective was to define a unified European view on the strategy for harmonisation of the EN Eurocodes.

Based on research experience, networking and consultation with experts, research needs to achieve increased protection against earthquakes in Europe were identified. The JRC also coordinated two ad-hoc groups which produced reports on the national implementation and use of the Eurocodes fire parts and on the standardisation needs to achieve improved design guidelines for fire protection. Scientific networks were set-up and coordinated with the objective to report on the needs for design standards for the use of FRP composites and glass in civil engineering works. See related publications [link to publications].

Impact on EU Policies

The Eurocodes are a major and necessary tool for the successful implementation of the Internal Market for construction products and services and contribute to the protection of safety of the European citizens in the built environment.

By providing a common basis for construction, the Eurocodes sustain several other EU policies, e.g. Research and Development, Enterprise, Competition, Enlargement and Regional policy, in support of the objectives of the renewed Lisbon strategy for Growth and Jobs.

Furthermore, the Eurocodes assist the External Trade and the European Neighbourhood policies in the field of standardisation in construction.

Framework

The project is an Administrative Arrangement between DG JRC and DG ENTR

The project is an activity under the action SAFECONSTRUCTION, Research in Support of Standardization in Construction and Construction Products

Adm. Arrangement : FIF.2004740 (17.12.2004)
Duration : 3 years
Start date : 1 March 2005
Related project : MoU Eurocodes

Contact

Artur Pinto
European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Institute For the Protection and Security of the Citizen
Tel. +39 0332 789294 - Fax +39 0332 789049

Events

EN1996 Design of Masonry Structures
Workshop, April 2-3, 2009
Brussels

Eurocodes: a tool for building safety and reliability enhancement
EU-Russia cooperation on standardization for construction
Moscow, 9-10 October, 2008.

EUROCODES
Background and applications, "Dissemination of information for training" workshop
Brussels, 18-20 February, 2008.

More Events here…

Project Web Site

The Eurocodes have their own web site: http://eurocodes.jrc.ec.europa.eu

Recent Publications

See more publications