Introduction to Eurocode 5

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The Eurocodes are a series of standards that establish common rules across the European Economic Area (EEA) for structural design using main construction materials such as concrete, steel, masonry, timber, aluminium and glass. Together with their National Annexes (NAs), where the national choice on a limited number of Nationally Determined Parameters (NDPs) may be declared, these standards allow a designer to prove compliance with the requirements of the European Construction Products Regulation, as well as the respective National Building Regulations.


BS EN 1995, more commonly known as Eurocode 5 or EC5, is the standard for structural timber design.


Considerable research from across member states has gone into developing these standards, and they are continually supported by a systematic review process every five years. National Standardisation Bodies (NSBs) are required to help in the review process by collating the information and user feedback from their relevant jurisdictions.


This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) is an overview of the subject with signposts to more detailed sources of information that are listed at the end. This outlines the major differences between Eurocode 5 and BS 5268-2 Structural use of timber [1], the British Standard for timber design that was withdrawn by the British Standards Institute (BSI) in 2010 to make way for EC5, and includes guidance on transitioning between the two.



  • Background
  • Eurocode 5 versus BS 5268
  • Materials and design data
  • Eurocode terms and requirements
  • Connections and assemblies
  • Second generation Eurocode 5
  • Further advice


This WIS sheet was revised in September 2020 to include changes to account for the second generation Eurocodes that are now being produced. It outlines that Eurocodes will continue to be recognised in the UK, even beyond the transition period. More detail has been provided on the BS EN 1995 family of standards along with additional information on the UK National Annexes and PD 6693. The section on strength grading has been expanded upon and Table 2 has been updated.

Suggested Reading

Enabling tomorrow's timber designers todaynavigation-arrow

James Norman and Andrew Thomson are passionate advocates of sustainable building. They have written a new, accessible textbook on structural timber design, full of essential information, worked examples and clear illustrations, and offer these reflections.


25/03/2020 |  Magazine Article  

Eurocode 5 and CE Markingnavigation-arrow

Keerthi Ranasinghe peels back the CE mark to reveal the wealth of information for designers driven by the Construction Products Regulation.

Article from the TRADA Timber Industry Yearbook 2013

01/01/2013 |  Magazine Article  

Eurocode 5: the supply chain perspectivenavigation-arrow

Senior structural engineer, TRADA Technology Ltd, Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe urges timber and wood suppliers to consider CE marking or third-party certification to take advantage of the way Eurocode 5 has changed the approach to designing in timber.

The key aim of the Eurocodes has been to create a common...

01/01/2011 |  Magazine Article