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21.12.2016

EBC opposes European-wide execution standards

Today EBC adopted its position paper against the definition of safety-related requirements in Eurocodes through European execution standards. Construction SMEs oppose European-wide execution standards for building works, whose need has not been widely recognised by all the relevant construction stakeholders.

Moreover, construction SMEs object to the current tendency of integrating execution rules into standards (e.g. product standards) that are not designed to provide such requirements.

No need for execution standards for construction SMEs

Over time, European Member states have developed different construction techniques, as a result of different factors such as geographical, hydrographical and morphological conditions. The existence of different construction cultures explains why there are specific national – and even very localised within the same country – practices related to safety requirements and the choice of construction material. Producing safety-related execution standards that don’t cover any possible scenario in civil engineering does not have an added value and would even be detrimental for construction companies.

Considering that most safety-related regulation is already adequately addressed at national level and varies from country to country, the use of execution standards at national level may result in additional costs for small and medium-sized construction companies, without reflecting their needs whatsoever.

What are Eurocodes and execution standards?

The EN Eurocodes are a set of standards (10 in total) that apply to structural design of buildings and other civil engineering works including:

  • geotechnical aspects;
  • structural fire design;
  • situations including earthquakes, execution and temporary structures.

The EN Eurocodes are intended to be used in combination with other construction-related standards. These standards are developed by CEN and cover all aspects of construction, such as design rules, material properties, test standards, execution of structures and special works, specifications for construction products and quality control.

Execution standards, in particular, apply to the whole execution process of certain construction works (such as structures in concrete, steel and aluminium), special geotechnical works and in the field testing of soil.

Therefore, for the complete design and construction of buildings and other civil engineering works, the Eurocodes should be used also in combination with execution standards.