The Role of Eurocode and BS Code in Structural Engineering

April 19, 2024

Eurocode VS BS code




The Eurocodes’ history started around 1971-1976 when the Public Procurement Directive organized a steering committee to propose the development of a common European code that could cover the design of a great diversity of construction works.

Public safety, durability, and serviceability are really important issues for society, becoming significant aspects of the regulation of construction. It brought then, new rules into the Eurocodes regarding existing structures which accurately are objects of concern since they have undergone a long history of evolution. However, this concept does not mean that structures became suddenly unsafe, this only draws attention to the need for understanding, for instance, the changes in the load and consequent behavior in the structures.


History of BS code

In the late 1950s, there a rapid development of the UK road and motorway regarding structural design. The Ministry of Transport (Mot) was the entity that introduced a new guidance document regarding this subject. This document consisted of guidelines for standards, methods of construction, and loadings. By 1965, 1000 designs of Bridges had been already approved by that division. Nevertheless, apart from the constant appearance of new works, a growth concern about the maintenance of existing bridges started to occur due to increased traffic volume and weight.


A series of Euro codes Developed

Euro codes are a series of 10 European Technical Standards that provide a common approach to the structural design of buildings and other civil engineering works.


Euro code can be found in 10 significant categories:


EN 1990 Eurocode 0 Basis of Design
EN 1991 Eurocode 1 Action of Structures
EN 1992 Eurocode 2 Design of Concrete Structures
EN 1993 Eurocode 3 Design of steel structures
EN 1994 Eurocode 4 Design of composite steel and concrete structures
EN 1995 Eurocode 5 Design of timber structures
EN 1996 Eurocode 6 Design of masonry structures
EN 1997 Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design
EN 1998 Eurocode 8 Design of structures for earthquake resistance
EN 1999 Eurocode 9 Design of aluminum structures


These codes have been approved by CEN and they could co-exist with the appropriate National code under the rules of the same authority.


Series of BS codes Developed

BD 63/07 Inspection of Highway Structures
BD  21/01 The Assessment of Highway Bridges and Structures
BD 37/01 Loads for Highway Bridges
BD 44/15 Assessment of Concrete Highway Bridges of Structures
BD 86/11 The Assessment of Highway Bridges and Structures for the effects of Special Types General Order (STGO) and Special Order (SO) vehicles
BD 56/10 The Assessment of Steel Highway Bridges and Structures
BD 61/10 The Assessment of Composite Highway Bridges and Structures


Major Differences between Euro Code and BS Code




Partial Safety Factor


Partial Safety Factors

Partial Safety Factors


Moving Loads Based on Lanes


Number of lanes according to Euro codeNumber of lanes according to Euro code


Number of Notional Lanes, according to BDs [29]

Number of Notional Lanes, according to BDs [29]



So, as we can see there are several other differences between the Euro code and BS codes, and a lot of recent developments have taken place both the codes Euro and BS codes are equally important in each way both from an assessment point of view and a designing point of view. So in the coming years as a structural engineer, we need to give equal importance to the design of any structural element or assessment of a structural component. As this industry is rapidly growing both these things are going to work hand in hand. So let’s all cherish the fact that we have 2 such codes and both are equally contributing to this massive infrastructure world.

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