Seven fundamental requirements in relation to buildings

The construction works must be designed and built in such a way that the loadings that are liable to act on them dur-ing their construction and use will not lead to any of the following:

(a) collapse of the whole or part of the work;

(b) major deformations to an inadmissible degree;

(c) damage to other parts of the construction works or to fittings or installed equipment as a result of major de-formation of the load-bearing construction;

(d) damage by an event to an extent disproportionate to the original cause.

The construction works must be designed and built in such a way that in the event of an outbreak of fire:

(a) the load-bearing capacity of the construction can be assumed for a specific period of time;

(b) the generation and spread of fire and smoke within the construction works are limited;

(c) the spread of fire to neighbouring construction works is limited;

(d) occupants can leave the construction works or be res-cued by other means;

(e) the safety of rescue teams is taken into consideration

The construction works must be designed and built in such a way that they will, throughout their life cycle, not be a threat to the hygiene or health and safety of workers, occupants or neighbours, nor have an exceedingly high impact, over their entire life cycle, on the environmental quality or on the climate during their construction, use and demolition, in particular as a result of any of the following:

(a) the giving-off of toxic gas;

(b) the emission of dangerous substances, volatile organic compounds (VOC), greenhouse gases or dangerous particles into indoor or outdoor air;

(c) the emission of dangerous radiation;

(d) the release of dangerous substances into ground wa-ter, marine waters, surface waters or soil;

(e) the release of dangerous substances into drinking wa-ter or substances which have an otherwise negative impact on drinking water;

(f) faulty discharge of waste water, emission of flue gases or faulty disposal of solid or liquid waste;

(g) dampness in parts of the construction works or on sur-faces within the construction works

The construction works must be designed and built in such a way that they do not present unacceptable risks of accidents or damage in service or in operation such as slipping, falling, collision, burns, electrocution, injury from explosion and burglaries. In particular, construction works must be designed and built taking into consideration accessibility and use for disabled persons.

The construction works must be designed and built in such a way that noise perceived by the occupants or people nearby is kept to a level that will not threaten their health and will allow them to sleep, rest and work in satisfactory conditions.

The construction works and their heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation installations must be designed and built in such a way that the amount of energy they require in use will be low, when account is taken of the occupants and of the climatic conditions of the location. Construction works must also be energy-efficient, using as little energy as possible during their construction and dismantling.

The construction works must be designed, built and demolished in such a way that the use of natural resources is sustainable and in particular ensure the following:

(a) reuse or recyclability of the construction works, their materials and parts after demolition;

(b) durability of the construction works;

(c) use of environmentally compatible raw and secondary materials in the construction works.

The new seventh fundamental sustainability requirement has not been applicable to date, as no method to define the relevant technical requirements to be included in the harmonised standards had been defined. However, the requirement has now been adopted and will be applicable once the harmonised standards have been revised on the instruction of the European Commission.

As the drafting of new standards and the revision of standards already adopted have come to a standstill, the European Commission has announced that a revision of the Construction Products

Regulation and the harmonised standards already in place is needed. Until such revision has been completed, the harmonised standards currently in force will remain the basis of CE marking.

National legislation in the field of building and construction focuses on buildings in their entirety, whereas the Construction Products Regulation concerns individual construction products that can be placed on the market and subsequently used in buildings.

There may be national building regulations that set out special requirements for the use of a construction product for a specific purpose in a building or structure. Such regulations mean that the construction product in question may only be used to a limited extent in a member state.