Standards are used to define best practice in different areas. They are compiled by experts in the field and are available in a number of different forms. They may clarify definitions or provide a series of rules and restrictions on a topic.
The purpose of a standard is to provide a constant for people to share the same expectations about products or services.
Producing British Standards involve a process of:
This process confirms the authority of the standard and helps to ensure that it will be accepted by those who might be interested in applying it.
British Standards can be developed completely within the UK, and in some cases are adoptions of international standards developed under very similar processes involving strong UK participation. All European standards (ENs) developed by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI, are adopted and any existing British Standards that conflict with them are required to be withdrawn.
British Standards produced are titled British Standard XXXX[-P]:YYYY where XXXX is the number of the standard, P is the number of the part of the standard and YYYY is the year in which the standard came into effect.
A PAS is similar to a British Standard, however it is developed in response to a commission by an external sponsor who funds the process, allowing it to be developed and published quickly to satisfy an immediate requirement.
Eurocodes are seen as leading the way in structural codes, they enable adoption and use not only in Europe, but also internationally. Their objectives are to:
- Provide common design criteria and methods of meeting necessary requirements for mechanical resistance, stability and resistance to fire, including aspects of durability and economy
- Provide a common understanding regarding the design of structures between owners, operators and users, designers, contractors and manufacturers of construction products
- Facilitate the marketing and use of structural components and kits in EU Members States
- Facilitate the marketing and use of materials and constituent products, the properties of which enter into design calculations
- Be a common basis for research and development, in the construction industry
- Allow the preparation of common design aids and software
- Increase the competitiveness of the European civil engineering firms, contractors, designers and product manufacturers in their global activities