By N Krebs Ovesen, Danish Engineering Academy
This paper was first published in GE’s October 1981 issue
As early as 1972 the Commission of the European Communities (EEC) decided to make an effort to create a unified common market in the construction sector. The effort was aimed at eliminating the technical and legal differences affecting not only the products used in the construction sector but also the regulations governing the safety of structures.
In 1975 an action programme was approved by the Commission, in accordance with which a working party on the stability of structures was established. In this way the concept of Eurocodes was introduced and in 1978 work started on Eurocode 1 which concerns the unified rules common to various types of construction and material, and Eurocode 2 and 3 which relate to concrete and steel buildings respectively.
In 1980 an agreement was reached between the EEC and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (ISSMFE) under which the Society would undertake to survey existing codes of practice for foundations within the member countries and to draft a code which may be adopted as Eurocode 7 for foundations.