The Eurocode for Geotechnical Design, EN-1997–1:2004, informally known as Eurocode 7 or EC7, was fully implemented within the European Union in 2010. This Eurocode is intended to apply to all geotechnical engineering design, including rock engineering. In recognition that all codes must continue to evolve in order to remain applicable, and the long time that such evolution takes, work is already underway under the auspices of the European Committee for Standardisation, CEN, to identify how the code should develop for future revisions. This paper presents a summary of the maintenance procedures for Eurocodes in general and the specific maintenance work currently being undertaken on EC7 in respect of rock engineering design. It also highlights potential future development of EC7, and the need for enthusiastic involvement by the European rock engineering community to direct these developments.
Standardisation is an integral part of a number of important EU policies that are concerned with better regulation, simplification of legislation, increase in competitiveness and removal of barriers to trade. As a result, the standardisation process is highly developed with the EU.
In the realm of structural engineering, the standardisation process has led to the development of a linked coherent set of standards — the so-called Structural Eurocodes— that govern construction and design.
CEN/TC250 has the responsibility of establishing general policies, programmes and strategies for the Structural Eurocodes, and to oversee their implementation. It also supports and guides its sub-committees in achieving these policies and objectives during any code drafting work.
The membership of CEN/TC250 and its subcommittees comprises delegates of the 29 CEN NationalMembers, together with delegates from the 5 Affiliates (i.e. countries likely to become members of the EU or EFTA) participating as observers. The general structure of CEN/TC250 is shown in Figure 1. In addition to three Horizontal Groups (HG) that work across subject boundaries and a group (WG1) that ensure policy, guidelines and procedures are being followed, there are nine specialist sub-committees each of which is responsible for a particular Eurocode (Table 2). Thus, CEN/TC250/SC7 is responsible for Eurocode 7.