Construction Products Directive CE

In December 1988, the Commission of the European Community issued Council Directive 89/106/EEC (aka the 'Construction Products Directive'), which sets out essential requirements for all construction works:

'... products must be suitable for construction works which... are fit for their intended use ... [and] satisfy the following essential requirements ... for an economically reasonable working life...

1. Mechanical resistance and stability

2. Safety in the case of fire

3. Hygiene, health and the environment

4. Safety in use'2

The Commission directed the European Committee for Standardization (CEN, see Chapter 1) to prepare a series of European Standards (ENs) containing common unified calculation methods for assessing the mechanical resistance of structures or parts thereof.3 These standards, or 'Euronorms', would be used to check conformity with Essential Requirement No 1 of the Construction Products Directive and aspects of Essential Requirements Nos 2 and 4. Additionally, the ENs would provide a basis for specifying contracts for construction works and serve as a framework for future harmonized technical specifications for construction products.

CEN established a technical committee (TC 250) to oversee development of these European Standards, which are collectively known as the 'Structural Eurocodes' (but which have recently been renamed the 'EN Eurocodes'). The countries who are members of CEN, and hence will be adopting the Eurocodes into their engineering practice, are shown on Plate 1 (which can be found in the book's colour section).

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