Press release - 26 March 2010
The biggest single change ever in construction standards is taking place on 31 March 2010, with the full implementation of the Eurocodes. In conjunction with this, BSI will be withdrawing 54 British Standards for the design of buildings and civil engineering structures.
The Eurocodes are a suite of harmonized European standards that cover the basis of structural design, actions on structures, the design of concrete, steel, composite steel and concrete, timber, masonry and aluminium structures, geotechnical design and the design of structures for earthquake resistance.
Considered by many leading engineers as the most technologically advanced standards in the world, the Eurocodes are written as a set of principles and are viewed as more versatile than the old standards. They are being implemented across the European Union to deliver a common approach to design, whilst at the same time allowing the application of country specific construction requirements such as wind loads or earthquake resistance. They will also help to open up access to this market.
In the UK they will be the required standards for public buildings and structural projects under the Public Contracts Regulations. Despite the Building Regulations Approved Document A not being amended until 2013 to include reference to the Eurocodes, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has issued a Circular Letter to Building Control Offices stating that “we would not expect this rescheduling [of the Building Regulations Approved Document A] to affect or deter the take up of the new national standards” (i.e. the Eurocodes).
Commenting on the impending change, Mike Low, Director, BSI Standards said: “The Eurocodes have evolved over 20 years, and because British engineers and BSI have played a key role in their development, I am confident that they will both strengthen the professions in the industry as well as our delivery of quality construction. Eurocodes will also provide an excellent foundation for developing international leadership here in the UK in creating the Smart & Sustainable Built Environment.”
BSI, along with key professional and trade associations, is undertaking a range of activities to ease the move from the old British Standards to the new Eurocodes. For further details, including FAQs on the transition, please www.eurocodes.co.uk.