Eurocodes: National Highways' Eurocodes Strategy

National Highways' Strategy

The Agency prepared for the introduction of Eurocodes over several years, and developed a strategy for their introduction with the following objectives:

This strategy is being executed by National Highways in coordination with the Overseeing Organisations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in liaison with interested industry bodies.

The strategy translated into a number of different areas of work, categorised as follows:

Strategy for guidance - NCCI and the DMRB

There will be a notable change to the way the DMRB works alongside the Eurocodes.  The DMRB can no longer reproduce and modify sections of Standards in a manner familiar to users of Standards such as BD37 or BD13.  Instead the DMRB can only contain information that is complementary to the Eurocodes, along with the Overseeing Organisations' additional (non-contradictory) requirements.

Currently there are about 60 BDs and BAs related to the design of bridges and other highway structures.  These are being scrutinised and categorised: some information relates solely to the British Standards and will therefore be superseded; some information contains the Overseeing Organisations' additional requirements and will be retained in a form complementary to the Eurocodes; some information is out of date and will be withdrawn; and some is useful guidance material, which will be retained in a complementary format. Standards applicable to assessments will be retained.

Similarly, the Eurocodes have been examined to determine what additional requirements will be needed to meet the Overseeing Organisations' objectives for bridges to be safe, economic, maintainable, adaptable and durable.  There will also be a need for some additional guidance to help designers apply the Eurocodes.

Information that falls under the banner of 'guidance' will be promulgated using the most appropriate means.  Consideration is being given to publishing some complementary information in the DMRB, but most will be published as BSI "Published Documents".  Recognising that some guidance is most effectively developed and maintained by industry bodies, the Agency will also be encouraging the industry to publish complementary guidance information for the Eurocodes.

The Agency is taking the opportunity to consolidate and simplify the information that is in the bridge design parts (including soil-structure interaction, ancillary structures and components) of the DMRB.  This will result in there being fewer, more-focused DMRB parts for the design of highway structures.

Implementation of Eurocodes by National Highways

The Agency has been expressing its requirements for the design of new and modification of existing highway structures in terms of Eurocodes since 31 March 2010.

The complete suite of Eurocodes needed for the design of highway structures and the associated Execution Standards, which state the requirements for construction, are now fully published.

The Agency has published an Interim Advice Note (IAN 124/11) to provide guidance on the use of Eurocodes for the design of highway structures (this will be followed by the publication of the implementation standard at a later date). The document includes clarification of specific Eurocode requirements, a list of clauses in Published Documents that constitute the default means of compliance, status of DMRB documents for use with Eurocodes and project specific information that need to be recorded.

Critical HA documents being reviewed and amended as part of the development of the implementation standard include the various DMRB documents related to structural design, Technical Approval of Highway Structures (BD2) and the Specification for Highway Works (SHW).

For safety reasons, the mixed use of British Standards and Eurocodes in design is not permitted.

Currently the Agency has no plan to implement Eurocodes for assessments of highway structures.  It is the Agency's intention to require that assessments continue to be undertaken to existing HA standards until further notice, unless the TAA is consulted and convinced that there will be sufficient technical information to aid the assessment, as well as advantages in using Eurocodes instead of the existing standards for the assessment situation concerned.

For modifications to highway structures, such as strengthening, upgrading, widening and replacement of structural elements or components, the Agency now specifies Eurocodes as the default design standards to be used.