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The Eurocodes ( EC for short , commonly used to abbreviate a specific document) are Europe-wide standardized rules for dimensioning in the building industry . These European standards - like the DIN standards , the ÖNORMEN and the Swiss standards - were developed by scientists, engineers and users of the member states of the European Committee for Standardization ( CEN for short ). Part of this European standardization is the partial safety concept .


There are currently 10 Eurocodes (EC 0 to EC 9 in the standards EN 1990 to EN 1999), which cover all major areas of construction. These standards are further subdivided. There are a total of 58 sub-standards. In addition, the standards committees of the member states create a "national annex" for each Eurocode, in which, above all, the parameters to be specified nationally, such as partial safety factors , are defined. In addition, additional explanations can be given (e.g. in the event of ambiguities due to the translation from English) and further application rules can be prescribed.

The Eurocodes are officially published in English, German and French. While further translations are possible, for example by national standards institutes, the translations into these three main languages ​​are monitored and approved by CEN.



In 1975 the European Commission adopted a program to remove trade barriers in the construction sector. This is how the first Eurocodes for structural engineering came about in the 1980s . Significantly involved and chairman of the Eurocode 2 committee (from 1979) was Franco Levi .

In 1989 this task was handed over by the European Commission to CEN, the European standardization organization. First, the Eurocodes appeared as European prestandards (ENV), which were introduced on a trial basis for use by the building authorities via the so-called National Application Documents (NAD). They contained so-called boxed values in order to take into account national differences in terms of construction types, safety requirements and climatic conditions. Since 1997 these pre-standards have been converted into European standards (EN).


The use of the Eurocodes is mandatory in Germany for construction projects submitted after July 1, 2012. On this date, the Eurocodes were introduced by the building authorities in Germany and are therefore applicable law. A transition period until December 31, 2013 was granted only in Bavaria. Up to this day, either the old standards or the Eurocodes could be used. A mixed application within a construction project is, however, prohibited. The application of the old DIN 18800-7 in the area of ​​the production of steel structures was a special case. There was a transition period of 2 years since July 1, 2012, during which production could still be based on the old standard. Since July 1, 2014, the use of the Eurocode, here the new standard EN 1090-2, is finally binding for manufacturers of steel structures.

In Austria, the Eurocodes and their national annexes have been mandatory since July 1st, 2009. The old standards are therefore invalid and may no longer be used.

In Switzerland there are no plans to replace Swiss standards with the Eurocodes. The Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects is planning to introduce standards called “Swisscodes”, which should be compatible with the Eurocodes. The use of the Eurocodes is still permitted in Switzerland. However, there are no national annexes in which the parameters to be determined nationally are specified. These parameters must be agreed between the planner and the client in preparation for a specific project.

Aim of unification

A Europe-wide uniform standardization in the building industry offers various advantages that have induced the CEN states to set up the Eurocodes:

  • Uniform design criteria across Europe
  • Harmonization of nationally different rules
  • Uniform basis for research and development
  • Easier exchange of services and products in construction
  • Easier Europe-wide tenders for construction works

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Legal situation per country., accessed on October 30, 2013 (English).
  2. Eurocodes: transition period in Bavaria until December 31, 2013. (No longer available online.) Bavarian Chamber of Engineers, June 19, 2012, archived from the original on November 1, 2013 ; Retrieved October 30, 2013 .
  3. a b International Standards. Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects, accessed on October 30, 2013 .