The Structural Eurocodes (EN 199x) are a suite of European standards for the design of buildings and civil engineering works, published in 2006 by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and with implementation starting in 2010. EN 1990 sets the basis of structural design, with the other Eurocodes dealing with different materials and specific aspects of the design; Eurocode 7 (EN 1997) deals with geotechnical aspects.

In 2010, CEN began a process of evolving the Eurocodes in order to incorporate improvements that reflect the state-of-the-art in engineering design and the needs of the civil engineering market; to improve the ease-of-use of the standards; and to harmonize practice between countries.

The existing EN 1990 is founded on limit state concepts, and reliability of design is provided mainly by a semi-probabilistic method based on partial factors. Applying the same method to geotechnical design has proved to be difficult, and the revised EN 1990 will present improvements concerning geotechnical design. Reflecting these changes, the title of EN 1990 was changed to "Basis of structural and geotechnical design". Although initially developed for structures involving soils, Eurocode 7 is also applicable to rock engineering design. A major target of the current revision is that the code should treat soil and rock on an equal basis.

The evolution of the Eurocode 7 has been accompanied by a group of rock engineering experts working under CEN, who started their activity in 2011. The paper is authored by the current members of this group and presents the situation of the revision of Eurocode 7 in October 2019, namely: the main objectives of the revision; the new structure adopted for the code, with three parts, and the implementation schedule of the revised Eurocodes; the main changes implemented so far in geotechnical design and rock engineering; the main rock engineering aspects still needing to be addressed.

1 Introduction

The Structural Eurocodes are a suite of ten European standards (EN 199x) for the design of buildings and civil engineering works. The work for the development of the Eurocodes started in 1975, but it was not before the early eighties of the 20th century that geotechnical aspects of design started being considered in a systematic way. Publication of the Eurocodes by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) was completed in 2006, and their implementation started in 2010, when contradictory national standards were withdrawn.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.