A concrete structural element is a member or part of a building, e.g. a beam, column, wall or floor slab. It is designed to carry loads of various kinds imposed upon it. The element is usually subjected to bending or direct forces or a combination of these. These primary influences may be accompanied by shearing forces and sometimes by torsion.
Effects on the structural element due to changes in temperature, shrinkage and creep of the concrete must be considered and also the possibility of damage from overloading, local damage, abrasion, vibration, frost, chemical attack and the like.
Design approaches are given in the various parts to Eurocode BS EN 1992.
Other Standards and Codes that have been fully or partially replaced by the Eurocode series include BS 8110 for buildings, BS 5400 Part 4 for bridges, BS 8007 for water retaining structures and BS 8004 for foundations.