Eurocode 2

Eurocode 2

Minson, Andrew

The introduction and implementation of the new Eurocodes is a significant event for the UK construction industry. The concrete sector is leading the way with the concrete national annexe due to be issued in early 2006 and a range of resources available to make the transition to Eurocode 2 as simple as possible.

Eurocode 2(1) will be used from early 2006. It will affect all concrete design once the current Standards BS 8110(2), BS 8007(31 and BS 5400(4) have been withdrawn. This is due to happen by 2010, but BS 8110 may be withdrawn as early as January 2008.

Learning to use the new Eurocodes will require time and effort. The benefits are:

* Eurocode 2 should result in more economic structures for clients

* Eurocode 2 is less restrictive than British Standards

* Eurocode 2 is extensive and comprehensive

* the new Eurocodes are claimed to be the most technically advanced codes in the world

* in Europe, all public works must allow the Eurocodes to be used for structural design.

* use of the Eurocodes will provide more opportunity for UK designers to work throughout Europe and for Europeans to work in the UK

* the Eurocodes are logical and organised to avoid repetition.

The driver in the UK is expected to be the economic benefit in using Eurocode 2. It is believed that there will be material cost-savings of between 0-5% compared with using BS 8110(2). In common with all EU countries, public authorities will have to accept the Eurocodes as valid methods of design on major works. In some countries, the adoption of the Eurocodes is embodied in their legal system.

One design code

Ultimately, Eurocode 2 will become the one design code for all concrete structures in the UK and Europe. It will ensure that reinforced concrete design remains up to date with the latest research. While Parts 1 -1 and 1 -2 have been published. Part 2 Bridges and Part 3 Liquid retaining structures and all the National Annexes (NAs) are awaited. NAs give specific rules for the use of Eurocode 2 in a particular country. The UK annexes for Parts 1-1 and 1-2 should be available for use from early 2006. Once these are published it will then be possible to use Eurocode 2.

Not all European Standards will be available as soon as Eurocode 2. The background document to the UK NA explains the intention that during the interim period, where not all ENs are available or are covered by UK NAs, relevant current British Standards will be used in the design and execution of concerned structures. Examples include wind loads, design of foundations and couplers. The design process will not change as a result of using Eurocode 2. It is laid out to deal with phenomena rather than elements. There are also specific rules dealing with beams, slabs, flat slabs, columns, walls, deep beams, foundations, tying systems and precast concrete. In the longterm it is anticipated that Eurocode 2 will result in more economic structures so conceptual design done to BS 8110, for example, may confidently be taken through to detail design using Eurocode 2.

UK adoption of Eurocode 2

The UK construction industry faces a major challenge with the replacement of British Standards by Eurocode 2. The Concrete Centre is making available a range of resources that will assist with the interpretation and use of the new code. A dedicated website,, has now been launched and this provides advice and assistance on the introduction, interpretation and implementation of Eurocode 2. In addition, there is recent news concerning Eurocode 2, detailed analysis and examination of the code, free downloads and a ‘FAQ’ section.

Concluding remarks

A series of seminars and courses on Eurocode 2 throughout the UK from The Concrete Centre has begun and a series of guides under the banner How to design concrete structures using Eurocode 2 will be published. These will be distributed free in relevant publications once the UK NA has been finalised. The guides aim to make the transition as easy as possible by drawing together the key information and commentary necessary for the design of typical concrete elements, such as slabs, beams and columns. The Concrete Centre will also publish a Concise Eurocode 2 that brings together information for building structures, spreadsheets for design to Eurocode 2 and a book of worked examples. Publications on civil engineering subjects, such as worked examples on integral bridges, will follow.


1. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. BS EN 1992-1-1: Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures. 2004.

2. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. BS 8110: Structural use of concrete. Code of practice for design and construction. 1997.

3. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. BS 8007: Code of practice for design of concrete structures for retaining aqueous liquids. 1987.

4. BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION. BS 5400: Steel, concrete and composite bridges. 1988.


Copyright The Concrete Society Jan/Feb 2006

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