This document (EN 1997-2: 2007) has been prepared by Technical Committee CEN/TC 250 "Structural Eurocodes", the secretariat of which is held by BSI.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by September 2007, and conflicting national standards shall be withdrawn at the latest by March 2010.

This document supersedes ENV 1997-2:1999 and ENV 1997-3:1999. CEN/TC 250 is responsible for all Structural Eurocodes.

According to the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania. Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Background of the Eurocode programme

In 1975, the Commission of the European Community decided on an action programme in the field of construction, based on article 95 of the Treaty. The objective of the programme was the elimination of technical obstacles to trade and the harmonization of technical specifications.

Within this action programme, the Commission took the initiative to establish a set of harmonised technical rules for the design of construction works, which, in a first stage, would serve as an alternative to the national rules in force in the Member States and, ultimately, would replace them.

For fifteen years, the Commission, with the help of a Steering Committee with representatives of Member States, conducted the development of the Eurocodes programme, which led to the first generation of European codes in the 1980s.

In 1989, the Commission and the Member States of the EU and EFTA decided, on the basis of an agreement1 between the Commission and CEN, to transfer the preparation and the publication of the Eurocodes to CEN through a series of Mandates, in order to provide them with a future status of European Standard (EN). This links de facto the Eurocodes with the provisions of all the Council's Directives and/or Commission's Decisions dealing with European standards (e.g. the Council Directive 89/106/EEC on construction products – CPD – and Council Directives 93/37/EEC, 92/50/EEC and 89/440/EEC on public works and services and equivalent EFTA Directives initiated in pursuit of setting up the internal market).

The Structural Eurocode programme comprises the following standards generally consisting of a number of Parts:

EN 1990 Eurocode : Basis of Structural Design

EN 1991 Eurocode 1: Actions on structures

EN 1992 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures

EN 1993 Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures

EN 1994 Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and concrete structures

EN 1995 Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures

EN 1996 Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures

EN 1997 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design

EN 1998 Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance

EN 1999 Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures

Eurocode standards recognise the responsibility of regulatory authorities in each Member State and have safeguarded their right to determine values related to regulatory safety matters at national level where these continue to vary from State to State.

Status and field of application of Eurocodes

The Member States of the EU and EFTA recognise that Eurocodes serve as reference documents for the following purposes:

  • as a means to prove compliance of building and civil engineering works with the essential requirements of Council Directive 89/106/EEC. particularly Essential Requirement N°1 – Mechanical resistance and stability – and Essential Requirement N°2 – Safety in case of fire;
  • as a basis for specifying contracts for construction works and related engineering services;
  • as a framework for drawing up harmonised technical specifications for construction products (ENs and ETAs).

The Eurocodes, as far as they concern the construction works themselves, have a direct relationship with the Interpretative Documents2 referred to in Article 12 of the CPD, although they are of a different nature from harmonised product standards3. Therefore, technical aspects arising from the Eurocodes work need to be adequately considered by CEN Technical Committees and/or EOTA Working Croups working on product standards with a view to achieving full compatibility of these technical specifications with the Eurocodes.

The Eurocode standards provide common structural design rules for everyday use for the design of whole structures and component products of both a traditional and an innovative nature. Unusual forms of construction or design conditions are not specifically covered and additional expert consideration will be required by the designer in such cases.

National Standards implementing Eurocodes

The National Standards implementing Eurocodes will comprise the full text of the Eurocode (including any annexes), as published by CEN, which may be preceded by a National title page and National foreword, and may be followed by a National annex.

The National annex may only contain information on those parameters, which are left open in the Eurocode for national choice, known as Nationally Determined Parameters, to be used for the design of buildings and civil engineering works to be constructed in the country concerned, i.e.:

  • values and/or classes where alternatives are given in the Eurocode;
  • values to be used where a symbol only is given in the Eurocode;
  • country specific data (geographical, climatic), e.g. snow map:
  • the procedure to be used where alternative procedures are given in the Eurocode. It may also contain:
  • decisions on the application of informative annexes;
  • references to non-contradictory complementary information to assist the user to apply the Eurocode.

Links between Eurocodes and harmonised technical specifications (ENs and ETAs) for products

There is a need for consistency between the harmonised technical specifications for construct ion products and the technical rules for works4. Furthermore, all the information accompanying the CE Marking of the construction products, which refer to Eurocodes, should clearly mention which Nationally Determined Parameters have been taken into account.

Additional information specific to Eurocode 7

EN 1997-2 gives guidance for the planning and interpretation of geotechnical laboratory and field tests that are used for the support of geotechnical design of buildings and civil engineering works.

EN 1997-2 is intended for clients, designers, geotechnical laboratories, field testing laboratories and public authorities.

EN 1997-2 is intended to be used with EN 1997-1.

When using EN 1997-2, particular regard should be paid to the underlying assumptions and conditions given in 1.3.

The six sections of EN 1997-2 are complemented by 24 informative annexes.

National annex for EN 1997-2

The national standard implementing EN 1997-2 should have a national annex containing all information concerning the application of EN 1997-2 in the relevant country.

Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design — Part 2: Ground investigation and testing