European regulations

Construction Products Directive (CPD)

The Construction Products Directive ensures the free movement of all construction products within the European Union. CPD introduces a common technical language, consisting of harmonised standards and European technical approvals, in which manufacturers can express the performance of the products they place on the market.

The scope of the CPD primarily concerns with the safety of constructions limited to regulated issues under six basic requirements for construction works:
  1. Mechanical resistance and stability
  2. Safety in case of fire
  3. Hygiene, health and the environment
  4. Safety and accessibility in use
  5. Protection against noise
  6. Energy economy and heat retention

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) will replace the Construction Products Directive (CPD) when it comes into force 1 July 2013. This change will make CE marking mandatory in every Member States and will also add one more essential requirement to the basic requirements list:

7. Sustainable use of natural resources


The Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC) requires products to be marked 'CE' to demonstrate their conformity with EU standards.


CE mark

The CE mark, which is an abbreviation of the French phrase “Conformité Européenne” (which translates into "European Conformity" in English) is a mandatory conformity mark for products placed on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA).

By placing the CE mark on a product, a manufacturer guarantees that the product conforms to the essential requirements of the applicable EC directives.

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European Commission: CE marking


ETA

A European Technical Approval (ETA) for a construction product is a technical assessment concerning a product’s fitness for an intended use. An ETA can be granted if there is no relevant harmonised standard available. The ETA also allows manufacturers to place a CE marking on their products.

Once issued, a European Technical Approval is valid in all EEA countries for a period of five years at the time.

European Technical Assessments will replace the current European Technical Approvals from 1 July 2013.

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European Organization for Technical Approvals

EC Declaration of Conformity

The CE Mark is the external verification of the EC Declaration of Conformity made by the manufacturer.

With an EC Declaration of Conformity, the manufacturer makes the required statement of conformity concerning their products. The Declaration of Conformity should be available to the authorities at the point of entry on the European Market. The declaration must be drawn up by either:
  • the manufacturer or 
  • the manufacturer's authorised representative in the European Community.

From 1 July 2013, the EC Declaration of Conformity will be renamed the Declaration of Performance. This declaration will become the new form for delivering information about the essential characteristics of CE marked products according to a harmonised standard (hEN) or a European Technical Assessment (ETA).

With the Declaration of Performance, the manufacturer takes responsibility for the conformity of the construction product with the declared performance.

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European Commission: Declaration of Performance (DoP) and CE marking

A CE marked product can be sold anywhere in the European Economic Area. It should be noted that it is not a label of quality.

Product requirements and building regulations vary between EU Member States. Therefore, although a product may have a CE marking it may not be suitable for particular applications or for use within some Member States, even though the marking allows it to be placed on the market in those Member States.

The responsibility for ensuring that a product has the correct characteristics for a particular application rests with the designers, contractors and local building authorities. By choosing a CE marked product, a designer can rely on the manufacturer to take responsibility for the quality of the product and/or service.


Eurocodes

Eurocodes are European structural design codes for building and civil engineering works. The codes aim to improve structural safety and enhance the competitiveness of the European construction industry.

  • EN1990 Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design 
  • EN1991 Eurocode 1: Actions on structures
  • EN1992 Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures
  • EN1993 Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures
  • EN1994 Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and concrete structures
  • EN1995 Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures
  • EN1996 Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures
  • EN1997 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design
  • EN1998 Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance
  • EN1999 Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures

Eurocodes will lead to a more uniform level of constructions safety in the different European regions. Common design methods will also simplify communication between designers, authorities and clients.

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Eurocodes: About the EN Eurocodes