a means to prove compliance with the requirements for mechanical strength and stability and safety in case of fire established by European Union law.
a basis for construction and engineering contract specifications.
a framework for creating harmonized technical specifications for building products (CE mark).
By March 2010, the Eurocodes are mandatory for the specification of European public works and are intended to become the de facto standard for the private sector. The Eurocodes therefore replace the existing national building codes published by national standard bodies (e.g. BS 5950), although many countries had a period of co-existence. Additionally, each country is expected to issue a National Annex to the Eurocodes which will need referencing for a particular country (e.g. The UK National Annex). At present, take-up of Eurocodes is slow on private sector projects and existing national codes are still widely used by engineers.
The motto of the Eurocodes is "Building the future". The second generation of the Eurocodes (2G Eurocodes) is being prepared.
In 1975, the Commission of the European Community (presently the European Commission), decided on an action programme in the field of construction, based on article 95 of the Treaty. The objective of the programme was to eliminate technical obstacles to trade and the harmonisation 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 would serve as an alternative to the national rules in force in the member states of the European Union (EU) and, ultimately, would replace them. For fifteen years, the Commission, with the help of a steering committee with representatives of the member states, conducted the development of the Eurocodes programme, which led to the first generation of European codes in the 1980s.
Part 1-3: Structures susceptible to fatigue(EN 1999-1-3)
Part 1-4: Cold-formed structural sheeting(EN 1999-1-4)
Part 1-5: Shell structures(EN 1999-1-5)
Each of the codes (except EN 1990) is divided into a number of Parts covering specific aspects of the subject. In total there are 58 EN Eurocode parts distributed in the ten Eurocodes (EN 1990 - 1999).
All of the EN Eurocodes relating to materials have a Part 1-1 which covers the design of buildings and other civil engineering structures and a Part 1-2 for fire design. The codes for concrete, steel, composite steel and concrete, and timber structures and earthquake resistance have a Part 2 covering design of bridges. These Parts 2 should be used in combination with the appropriate general Parts (Parts 1).