1.4 Distinction between Principles and Application Rules

(1) Depending on the character of the individual clauses, distinction is made in EN 1997-1 between Principles and Application Rules.

(2) The Principles comprise:

  • general statements and definitions for which there is no alternative;
  • requirements and analytical models for which no alternative is permitted unless specifically stated.

(3) The Principles are preceded by the letter P.

(4) The Application Rules are examples of generally recognised rules, which follow the Principles and satisfy their requirements.

(5) It is permissible to use alternatives to the Application Rules given in this standard, provided it is shown that the alternative rules accord with the relevant Principles and are at least equivalent with regard to the structural safety, serviceability and durability, which would be expected when using the Eurocodes.

NOTE If an alternative design rule is submitted for an application rule, the resulting design cannot be claimed to be wholly in accordance with EN 1997-1, although the design will remain in accordance with the Principles of EN 1997-1.

1.5 Definitions

1.5.1 Definitions common to all Eurocodes

(1) The definitions common to all Eurocodes are given in EN 1990:2002.

1.5.2 Definitions specific for EN 1997-1

geotechnical action

action transmitted to the structure by the ground, fill, standing water or ground-water

NOTE Definition taken from EN 1990:2002

comparable experience

documented or other clearly established information related to the ground being considered in design, involving the same types of soil and rock and for which similar geotechnical behaviour is expected, and involving similar structures. Information gained locally is considered to be particularly relevant


soil, rock and fill in place prior to the execution of the construction works;


organised combination of connected parts, including fill placed during execution of the construction works, designed to carry loads and provide adequate rigidity

NOTE Definition derived from EN 1990:2002

derived value

value of a geotechnical parameter obtained by theory, correlation or empiricism from test results


material resistance against deformation


capacity of a component, or cross-section of a component of a structure to withstand actions without mechanical failure e.g. resistance of the ground, bending resistance, buckling resistance, tensile resistance

NOTE Definition derived from EN 1990:2002

Eurocode 7 Geotechnical design Part 1 : General rules