The Structural Eurocodes
The Structural Eurocodes are a set of 10 standards, divided into 58 parts. Each Member State has the obligation through their National Standard Bodies to translate and publish the Eurocodes together with the National Annexes. In the National Annex each country has to give values for the parameters left open to the national choice (Nationally Determined Parameters or NDPs), country-specific data and procedures to be used and any non-contradictory documents.
The set of Structural Eurocodes consists of:
The Eurocodes have been continuously developed since the 1980’s. The Commission of the European Community aiming to harmonize the technical standards among the European countries took the initiative to introduce the first generation of the standards. Harmonization of the civil engineering standards will provide a common language between the European engineers while it will enhance the competitiveness of the European companies in the world market and facilitate the exchange of engineering services and products. The responsibility for developing the Eurocodes was transferred to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) in 1989. In the 1990’s the first version of Eurocodes were introduced as pre-standards (ENVs or EuroNorm Vornorm). The use of the ENVs was not compulsory but significant experience was gained so the trial versions can be revised. In late 1990’s and during the following years the final versions of the Eurocodes have been developed until their publication as ENs (EuroNorms).
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN from the French name Comité Européen de Normalisation) was established in 1961 by the National Standards Bodies in the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Free Trade association (EETA). CEN is responsible to translate the standards into the three official CEN languages (English, French and German) and make them available to the National Standard Bodies. CEN which is based in Brussels has over 260 Technical Committees (TCs). The TC 250 is in charge of the Structural Eurocodes while the Sub Committee 7 (SC7) is in charge for the Eurocode 7.
Evolution of Eurocode 7
Aiming at the next generation of Eurocodes a Mandate was issued by the European Commission in 2010. CEN responding to the Mandate suggested the creation of three new Eurocodes (structural glass, fibre-reiforced polymers, membrane structures) and the evolution of the existing ones by taking into account recent research, reducing the Nationally Determined Parameters and focusing on sustainability.
As the Eurocode 7 is evolving and the next generation is being prepared a number of Evolution Groups has been working on different issues that need revision and further research. At the 26th meeting of TC250/SC7 in March 2011 a decision was made to establish 12 Evolution Groups (EGs) (with two more being added later) to look at the technical issues that require improved coverage in the future version of EC7:
Dr Andrew Bond is the chairman of the SC7. More info about the Eurocode 7 Evolution Groups can be found here.