The Basis of Structural Design: Eurocodes EN1990 Overview

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The Structural Eurocodes are a pan-European set of design codes for building and civil engineering works. They will replace the existing codes published by the British Standards Institution in the UK.

The Eurocodes will provide a common understanding regarding design between owners, operators, designers and contractors in civil and structural engineering. They represent the biggest change in design codes ever seen.

EN1990 is the head code in the Eurocode series and establishes the principles and requirements for safety, serviceability and durability of structures. Importantly, it must be applied whenever any parts from Eurocodes 1 to 9 are used.


This one day course introduces the Eurocode system in general and EN1990 in particular. It presents the philosophy, application and integration of the suite for modern structural design and analysis.

The structure, scope and legislative links e.g. the Construction Products Directive (CPD) of the Eurocode system is introduced and the current status of integration outlined. Implementation of the Eurocode suite into UK practice together with the national annex structure and derived parameters are described. The co-existence of BSI and Eurocode design standards and phased withdrawal of current design codes
are also discussed.

The impact of implementation on UK design practice is discussed and the key decisions required to ensure a smooth transition outlined.

A detailed overview of the head code, EN1990, is delivered covering the requirements for safety, service ability and durability, limit state design principles, basic variables, verification using the partial factor method and the application to UK practice.


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Programme Overview
Session 1 - Introduction to the Eurocode suite and setting of course objectives
  • Objectives, their status and links to European legislation
  • The Construction Products Directive (CPD) and its links to the Eurocodes
  • Scope of the Eurocodes
  • Eurocode Programme
  • Eurocode system and differences with BSI codes.

Session 2 - Eurocode Implementation in the UK
  • Concerns and benefits to the profession in the UK
  • Implementation through the National Annexes
  • Explanation of the National Annex and its contents
  • Explanation of Nationally determined parameters
  • Programme of release of the Eurocodes
  • Co-existence between the Eurocodes and National Standards
  • Packages of Eurocode parts (e.g. buildings, bridges)
  • Withdrawal of BSI Codes of Practice

Session 3 - Management decisions regarding implementation
  • The business decisions for implementation
  • Strategy for implementation considering the benefits and threats
  • Future developments

Sessions 4 and 5 - Introduction to EN 1990: Basis of structural design
  • Objectives of EN 1990
  • Requirements for design (safety, serviceability, robustness, reliability differentiation etc)
  • Principles of limit state design and design situations
  • Basic variables (Actions, material properties etc)
  • Verification by the partial factor method
  • Application to buildings and civil engineering works including bridges
  • Management of structural reliability

Session 6 - Conclusions and final discussion
  • What needs to be done in the UK?
The tutor is a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, an active consultant and until recently a director of the Construction Division, and the Centre for Construction Codes and Standards at BRE and has extensive experience of the structural design of buildings and bridges.

He is the Chairman of the committees responsible for the development of EN 1990 and EN 1991; an advisor to the European Commission and the Department of Communities and Local Government. He is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and has published numerous papers and publications.
Learning Objectives
At the end of this course, delegates should:
  • Be familiar with the objectives, development and workings of the Eurocode system
  • Be familiar with the whole Eurocode system
  • Understand the links with European legislation (in particular procurement of design services, construction and products)
  • Be familiar with the implementation programme in the UK, which includes the period of co-existence with the withdrawal of BSI codes of Practice
  • Appreciate the benefits and threats of implementation on which business decisions may be made
  • Be conversant with Eurocode EN1990: The basis of Structural Design, which is the head material independent code and needs to be used with every Eurocode part.
Who Should Attend?
This course is suitable for anyone with a requirement or responsibility for structural design and analysis, including but not limited to:
  • Civil engineers
  • Structural engineers
  • Engineering managers

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Institution of Civil Engineers Thomas Telford

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