Objectives of the Eurocodes

(1) The structural Eurocodes comprise a group of standards for the structural and geotechnical design of buildings and civil engineering works.

(2) They are intended to serve as reference documents for the following purposes:

  • a) As a means to prove compliance of building and civil engineering works with the essential requirements of the Construction Products Directive (CPD);
  • b) As a framework for drawing up harmonised technical specifications for construction products.

(3) They cover execution and control only to the extent that is necessary to indicate the quality of the construction products, and the standard of the workmanship, needed to comply with the assumptions of the design rules.

(4) Until the necessary set of harmonised technical specifications for products and for methods of testing their performance is available, some of the Structural Eurocodes cover some of these aspects in informative annexes.

Background to the Eurocode programme

(5) The Commission of the European Communities (CEC) initiated the work of establishing a set of harmonised technical rules for the design of building and civil engineering works which would initially serve as an alternative to the different rules in force in the various Member States and would ultimately replace them. These technical rules became known as the "Structural Eurocodes".

(6) In 1990, after consulting their respective Member States, the CEC transferred work of further development, issue and updates of the Structural Eurocodes to CEN and the EFTA Secretariat agreed to support the CEN work.

(7) CEN Technical Committee CEN/TC 250 is responsible for all Structural Eurocodes.

Eurocode programme

(8) Work is in hand on the following Structural Eurocodes, each generally consisting of a number of parts:

  • EN 1991 Eurocode 1 Basis of design and 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 alloy structures.

(9) Separate sub-committees have been formed by CEN/TC 250 for the various Eurocodes listed above.

(10) This part of the Structural Eurocode for Geotechnical design, is being issued by CEN as a European Prestandard (ENV) with an initial life of three years.

(11) This Prestandard is intended for experimental practical application in the design of the building and civil engineering works covered by the scope as given in 1.1.2 and for the submission of comments.

(12) After approximately two years CEN members will be invited to submit formal comments to be taken into account in determining future action.

(13) Meanwhile, feedback and comments on this Prestandard should be sent to the Secretariat of sub-committee CEN/TC250/SC7 at the following address:

  • NNI
  • P.O.Box 5059
  • NL-2600 GB Delft
  • The Netherlands

or to a national standards organisation.

National application documents

(14) In view of the responsibilities of authorities in member countries for the safety, health and other matters covered by the essential requirements of the CPD, certain safety elements in this ENV have been assigned indicative values which are identified by [..]. The authorities in each member country are expected to assign definitive values to these safety elements.

(15) Many of the supporting standards, including those giving values for actions to be taken into account and measures required for fire protection, will not be available by the time this Prestandard is issued. It is therefore anticipated that a National Application Document giving definitive values for safety elements, referencing compatible supporting standards and giving national guidance on the application of this Prestandard will be issued by each Member State or its Standard Organisation. This Prestandard should be used in conjunction with the National Application Document valid in the country where the building and civil engineering works is to be constructed.

It is intended that this Prestandard is used in conjunction with the NAD valid in the country where the building or civil engineering works are located.

Matters specific to this prestandard

(16) This prestandard is intended to serve as a reference document for the use of field tests for geotechnical design. It covers the execution and interpretation of the most commonly used field tests. This prestandard aims at ensuring that adequate quality is reached in the execution of field tests and their interpretation.

(17) In the framework of European Standardization, Eurocode 7 Part 1 on design of geotechnical structures has been established. The link between the general requirements for the design such as stated in ENV 1997-1 and the existing standards, codes and other types of generally accepted documents for operating field investigations is covered by Eurocode 7 Part 3: "Geotechnical design assisted by field tests". Eurocode 7 Part 3 in particular addresses some of the requirements of ENV 1997 — Part 1, especially section 3: "Geotechnical data".

(18) ENV 1997-3 does not replace standards for equipment and performance of different test methods, but provides basic requirements for such standards.

(19) Section 2 of ENV 1997-3 gives general requirements with respect to planning of field and laboratory investigations. This section serves as a common section of both Eurocode 7 Parts 2 and 3.

Eurocode 7 Geotechnical design — Part 3: Design assisted by fieldtesting