Eurocode 5 (EC5): Design of timber structures - An overview & comparison with the BS 5268-2 method (Version 1)

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The development of a structural building code is an immensely important matter because human safety is involved. This was so, even as early as the 18th century BC. Article 229 in the Code of Hammurabi, reads: "The builder has built a house for a man and his work is not strong: if the house he has built falls in and kills a householder, that builder shall be slain." 

The Eurocode process started in the 1970s. The then European Economic Community issued a Construction Products Directive (CPD), which was declared that the existence of different national codes and standards constituted "a barrier to trade". It was decided to produce, by consensus, a new set of unified design codes and supporting material standards to cover all the major building materials - a hugely ambitious project, but now largely completed.

This Construction Briefing gives readers an overview and explanation of the change in requirements brought about by complying to Eurocodes.

This sheet also contains a comprehensive comparison of adopting the Eurocode system, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of compliance.



  • Purpose of the Eurocodes
  • Timescale for implementation
    • General
    • The Building Regulations
    • Making the transition
  • An overview of the Eurocode documents
    • Table of Eurocodes
  • Limit state design philosophy
  • Table of sections within EC5 (EN 1995)
  • Comparison of approach: EC5 vs BS 5268-2
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the EC5 approach

Suggested Reading

Dynamic response of timber flitch beamsnavigation-arrow

Through experimental analysis, James Norman, Joel Ross, Robbie Kirkbride and Toby Hill-Smith outline the damping exhibited in these complex beams.


Article from Timber 2017 Industry Yearbook

01/03/2017 |  Magazine Article  

A motorway service station - but not as we know itnavigation-arrow

Exposed timber structures sympathetic to their rural surroundings are at the heart of a recently opened motorway service station in Gloucester.


Article from Timber 2018 Industry Yearbook

14/05/2018 |  Magazine Article  

Joinery: natural retreatnavigation-arrow

Outright winner of the prestigious Wood Awards 2017, the Coastal House is a showcase for the many uses of timber and some fine joinery.


Article from Timber 2018 Industry Yearbook

15/05/2018 |  Magazine Article