Application of Eurocodes since 1 July 2012
Europe-wide structural design rules
(2012-07-05) The Eurocodes are unified rules for structural design for application throughout Europe. The Ministries of Building of the German federal states (Länder) have agreed on the national implementation of the Eurocodes in Germany in the form of "packages". Application of the first package, comprising Eurocodes 0 "Basic structural rules", 1 "Actions", 2 "Concrete construction", 3 "Steel construction", 4 "Composite steel and concrete construction", 5 "Timber construction", 7 "Geotechnical design" and 9 "Aluminium construction", has been mandatory since 1 July 2012. Since the incorporation of the Eurocodes in the building regulations of the individual federal states is a matter for each Land, users of the Eurocodes are required to take account of the provisions specific to each state.
What are the Eurocodes?
The development of the Eurocodes began in 1975 when the European Commission decided, in the Treaty of Rome, on an action programme in the field of construction aimed at eliminating technical obstacles to trade. Within this action programme it also started an initiative to harmonize technical specifications relating to load assumptions and structural design. Over the last decades work has been going on to standardize structural design rules in Europe, resulting in the series of standards comprising 58 parts, the "Eurocodes".
The main aims of the Eurocode are to:
- provide common design criteria and methods
- harmonize the different national rules
- be a common basis for research and development
- facilitate the exchange of construction services
- allow the preparation of common design aids and software
- facilitate public procurement procedures in Europe
- increase the competitiveness of the European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their world-wide activities
To make it easier to apply the Eurocodes in Germany, the Building and Civil Engineering Standards Committee (NABau) of DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, has prepared consolidated versions of the Eurocodes to include any amendments or corrigenda. These are available in English, as are most of the German National Annexes. In addition, NABau and DIN's publishing arm Beuth Verlag has published a number of German-language "Handbooks" that combine several parts of the Eurocodes together with their National Annexes and any relevant "residual standards".
For more information go to www.eurocodes-online.de.