BCA introduces new international structural design standards for buildings

Monday, 25 March 2013

- It is part of BCA's ongoing efforts to be aligned with international standards and upgrade the industry's expertise

Singapore, 25 March 2013 - The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will introduce the Eurocodes as Singapore's building codes on 1 April 2013. Primarily used by building professionals, the Eurocodes is a new set of standards for the structural design of buildings and civil engineering works. The move is part of BCA's ongoing efforts in raising the standards of the industry and the standards of structural building design by mandating the use of one of the world's most advanced and established building codes.

To help the industry move to the new codes smoothly, BCA will allow building professionals to submit the structural plans of a building using either the Eurocodes or the British Standards from 1 April 2013 for two years. On 1 April 2015, BCA will withdraw our current codes - which are based on the British Standards - from use. The Eurocodes will replace them as Singapore's prescribed building codes for structural design.

Comprising a series of 10 European Standards, the Eurocodes was developed over the last 30 years by experts from the European Union (EU) and is considered one of the world's most advanced structural design codes (Annex). The existing British Standards, which has been withdrawn from use in Britain in 2010, will no longer be updated. All 27 member states of the European Union as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are using Eurocodes as their prescribed building code.

Safer buildings from one of the world's most advanced building codes

The Commissioner of Building Control, BCA, Er. Ong See Ho commented, "One of BCA's mission is to shape a safe built environment in Singapore. In moving from the British Standards to the Eurocodes, we now have a set of building codes that is constantly reviewed at an international platform and regularly updated to suit developments in the building industry. For Singaporeans, we'll live, work, play and learn in a safer built environment, comparable to many cities from the EU.

"We are one of the first countries outside Europe to introduce Eurocodes as our building code. This will raise the standards and expertise of our building professionals because they will be using a set of building codes widely used by their counterparts in Europe," added Er. Ong.

In the last six years, BCA has studied how it was used by other countries and held extensive discussions with industry professionals and the experts. BCA has also worked with other public agencies, industry associations and universities in organising training courses and seminars so that our building professionals are familiar with the Eurocodes.

To help building professionals become proficient in the Eurocodes, BCA will conduct more courses, seminars and workshops before our switch to the Eurocodes in April 2015.

Annex - Eurocodes

What are the Eurocodes?

It is a suite of European standards for structural design of buildings.

It provides a common approach to structural building design across the European Union.

It allows the use of national annexes which have parameters that a country can customise for its requirements.

Why Eurocodes

Singapore's building codes are currently based on the British Standards.

Britain migrated to the Eurocodes in March 2010.

Since 2010, the British Standards Institution no longer maintains and updates the British Standards.

Benefits of Eurocodes:

The Eurocodes is considered one of the world's most technically advanced design standards.

It is based on the collective expertise of professionals from the European Union.

It allows each country to introduce National Annex which specifies parameters to customise its local requirements.

It provides opportunities for the building professionals to import and export design expertise and products.

British Standards versus Eurocodes: How they compare

Many of the Eurocode rules are based on the same theory as the British Standards, although the Eurocodes incorporates the most up-to-date research on many aspects of structural behaviour.

The Eurocode clauses are structured in a slightly different way in that they contain principles that must be satisfied and application rules that offer a way of satisfying the principles. This is intended to stimulate innovation. The Eurocodes are also less prescriptive than the British Standards, with more aspects left open to the designer.

(Source: http://www.dft.gov.uk/ha/standards/tech_info/eurocodes/faq.htm)

Portable document format version of the media release is also available (60KB .pdf).

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