Recognized rules of technology

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The (generally) recognized rules of technology are technology clauses for the design and implementation of structures or technical objects. They do not have to be codified , but they usually are.

It can be assumed that the recognized rules of technology are known to a technician who has been trained according to the latest state of knowledge and that they have proven themselves on the basis of ongoing practical experience.

The recognized rules of technology are to be distinguished from the state of the art (European also: " best available techniques ") and the state of science and technology . These terms contain the latest available methods, which, however, have so far neither established nor proven.

The generally recognized rules of technology are of considerable importance for the determination of the target properties of things and as a liability standard, in particular in the law on works contracts for construction work in accordance with § 13 1, sentence 2, para. VOB / B .

Definition of content

Historically, the definition of the content of the recognized rules of technology goes back to the case law of the Reichsgericht on building criminal law (today in particular § 319 StGB), according to which a rule is generally recognized if it represents the prevailing view of technical experts. That is the case when it has not only found general scientific recognition, but has also proven itself in practice.


In particular for technical regulations laid down in writing, there is a presumption (which can be refuted by the passage of time) of general recognition and practical probation. In Germany, these include in particular the standards of the German Institute for Standardization eV , ETB (uniform technical building regulations of the Institute for Building Technology ), VDI guidelines , VDE regulations, DVGW guidelines and manufacturer regulations and guidelines.

However, the generally recognized rules of technology are not identical to DIN . According to a decision by the Federal Court of Justice , DIN standards are private technical regulations with the character of recommendations and therefore cannot determine the generally recognized rules of technology in a binding manner. You can play them back, but you can also lag behind.

In some traditional trades that are still practiced, such as the carpentry trade , there are also oral technical rules.


  • In EN 45020 the recognized rules of technology are defined as follows:
"1.5 Recognized rules of technology -
technical specification which a majority of representative persons skilled in the art would consider to represent the state of the art.
NOTE: A normative document on a technical subject will, at the time of its adoption, be regarded as the expression of a recognized rule of technology if it has been achieved through survey and consensus procedures in cooperation with the interests concerned. [...]
3.2.1 Standards available to the public
NOTE: Thanks to their status as standards, their public accessibility, and their modification or revision as necessary to keep up with the state of the art, there is a presumption that international, regional, national or provincial standards (, 3.2 .1.2, and are recognized rules of technology. "
  • In the CSM Regulation (EC) No. 352/2009 of the EU Commission in Art. 3 No. 19 you can find the following legal definition:
"Recognized rules of technology": the rules laid down in writing which, when properly applied, can serve to control one or more specific hazards; "
"Recognized rules of technology are all written and unwritten rules of technology based on knowledge and experience, the observance of which must be observed in order to exclude dangers, and which are known in the relevant specialist circles and recognized as correct.
Recognized rules of technology in the field of STE systems include technical standards (EN, DIN, DIN VDE) and EdB regulations. "
  • In the Gas Management Act §7 Definitions (1) 53 you can find:
"Rules of technology" technical rules that contain principles derived from science or experience in the technical field and whose correctness and expediency are generally considered to be proven in practice "

Delimitation of the technical standards

According to the Kalkar decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, there is a three-step relationship between the generally recognized rules of technology , the state of the art and the state of science and technology .

  1. At the lowest level are the recognized rules of technology, which must be generally recognized and, because of this broad technical consensus, only adopt innovations and technical advances relatively late.
  2. The state of the art is more dynamic at the second level, which waives such recognition and therefore helps technical innovations to be implemented more quickly.
  3. The state of science and technology, on the other hand, includes the latest technical and scientific findings and is not limited by what is currently realized and feasible. It is therefore the highest standard, but also the most difficult to determine, since the technical and scientific state of knowledge has to be specified more precisely in individual cases by resolving disputes. At the same time, it serves the best possible protection of fundamental rights, for example against the dangers of nuclear energy ( Section 7, Paragraph 2, No. 3, Section 1, No. 2 of the Atomic Energy Act).

This three-way division of the technical standards is now recognized in law . A two-stage theory that does not differentiate between the recognized rules of technology and the state of the art, or even a unit theory that does not want to make any substantive difference at all, has not caught on.

Importance in various areas of law

Criminal law

In criminal law , the recognized rules of technology are of great importance as a yardstick for determining whether an act is in breach of duty, particularly when examining negligence . The recognized rules of technology are also mentioned in Section 319 of the Criminal Code (so-called building risk ).

Civil Law

In civil law , particularly in the case of work and sales contracts , the contracting parties often agree that the contribution in kind must comply with the recognized rules of technology. Unless there is an express agreement or the circumstances do not indicate otherwise, they are usually viewed as a minimum standard when interpreting contracts with regard to the target properties of a thing. Deviations are then a defect . If one side intends to deviate, this and the consequences must generally be explained.

An example of an agreement is contained in Part B of the procurement and contract regulations for construction works (VOB), which can be included in their contract by the contracting parties.

§ 4 Execution
2. (1) The contractor is responsible for performing the service in accordance with the contract. In doing so, he must observe the recognized rules of technology and the legal and official provisions. It is his responsibility to manage the execution of his contractual services and to keep his place of work in order.
§ 13 Claims for Defects
[...] At the time of acceptance, the service is free of material defects if it has the agreed quality and corresponds to the recognized rules of technology . […] 7. […] The contractor only has to compensate any further damage, a) if the defect is based on a violation of the recognized rules of technology , […]

Particularly in the general terms and conditions for the execution of construction work , reference is made to the recognized rules of technology in Section 4 and Section 13 VOB / B.

In addition, the recognized rules of technology are also used in civil law as a yardstick for determining whether an action is in breach of duty, particularly when examining negligence.

Administrative law

Numerous standards of administrative law refer to the recognized rules of technology. Examples:

  • State building regulations of the states and model building regulations : If a DIN or European standard is included in one of the (sample) lists of the technical building regulations by the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt) and adopted by at least one federal state as an "introduced technical rule" on the list of the state's own technical building regulations the standard is considered to be a "recognized rule of technology" from the building authorities.
  • Section 55 (1) no. 3 of the Federal Mining Act requires compliance with the recognized rules of safety technology for approval of an operating plan.
  • According to Section 3, Paragraph 4 of the Rescue Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia , ambulances, ambulances and ambulances must comply with the generally recognized rules of medicine, technology and hygiene in terms of their equipment, equipment and maintenance.
  • According to Section 2 (1) of the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO), railway systems and vehicles must be designed in such a way that they meet the requirements of safety and order. These requirements are deemed to have been met if the railway systems and vehicles [...] comply with the recognized rules of technology.

See also


  • Karl-Wilhelm Schäfer: The law of the rules of technology. Cologne, Univ.-Diss. 1965
  • Peter Marburger : The rules of technology in law. Heymann, Cologne et al. 1979, ISBN 3-452-18539-7 (also: Göttingen, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 1977–1978).

Individual evidence

  1. Harald Buss: The expert for damage to buildings . Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-8167-6158-5 , p. 108
  2. Mark Seibel: Differentiation of the "recognized rules of technology" from the "state of the art" ( Memento from November 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) NJW 2013, 3000
  3. RGSt 44, 75 (79)
  4. Mark Seibel: Construction defects and recognized rules of technology , 2009, Rn. 20 ff.
  5. BVerwG, NVwZ-RR 1997, 214 f.
  6. BGH, judgment of May 14, 1998 , Az.VII ZR 184/97, full text.
  7. CEN : DIN EN 45020: 2006 - Standardization and related activities - General terms (ISO / IEC Guide 2: 2004); trilingual version EN 45020: 2006 .
  8. BVerfG, decision of August 8, 1978 - 2 BvL 8/77
  9. Ulrich Battis , Christoph Gusy : Technical standards in building law , 1988
  10. Niklisch, BB 1983, 261
  11. ↑ Information on correctness according to the recognized rules of technology ( Memento of April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) from a legal point of view, lawyer Markus Cooler, specialist lawyer for building and architectural law , accessed in March 2015
  12. Model building regulations , accessed on May 6, 2015.
  13. Law on the rescue service as well as emergency rescue and ambulance transport by entrepreneurs