Concrete @ your Fingertips


Design codes and standards

The main Code of Practice for the design of reinforced or prestressed concrete structures (excluding bridges) was BS 8110, Structural use of concrete. This is divided into two parts. Part 1, Code of practice for design and construction is intended for general use and includes simple ´deemed to satisfy´ approaches for aspects such as deflections. Part 2, Code of practice for special circumstances gives more detailed design approaches.

The design in BS 8110:1997 was originally on the basis of Grade 460 steel with a partial safety factor of 1.05. This was amended in 2005 to Grade 500 steel with a partial safety factor of 1.15, bringing it into line with the changes in the reinforcement standards.

BS 8110 is now superceded by Eurocode 2, BS EN 1992, Design of concrete structures, Part 1-1, General rules and rules for buildings, which was published in January 2005, and its UK National Annex. 

Traditionally, liquid retaining structures have been designed to BS 8007, Design of concrete structures for retaining acqueous liquids´. This extended BS 8110 with particular emphasis on the provision of reinforcement to control crack widths. The code has now been replaced by Eurocode 2 Part 3, Liquid retaining and containmnt structures.

Bridges are currently designed to BS 5400, Steel, concrete and composite bridges, Part 4, Code of practice for design of concrete bridges and the appropriate parts of the Highways Agency´s, Design manual for roads and bridges. BS 5400 Part 4 has been replaced by Eurocode 2 Part 2, Reinforced and prestressed concrete bridges.

Note that from 1 April 2015, Highways Agency has changed name to Highways England.


Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society


Concrete Bookshop - Members receive 40% discount on Concrete Society publications

Manual for the design of reinforced concrete building structures


Manual for the design of concrete buildings structures to Eurocode 2


Concise Eurocode 2


How to design concrete structures using Eurocode 2