Various standard codes for testing of construction materials are specified by ASTM international, Eurocodes, IS Codes, BS Codes, etc. These codes specifies testing procedure and methods for concrete, masonry, aggregates, steel, soil and other building materials.

Codes and standards are living documents, continually revised and refreshed to address changing requirements and emerging technologies. Commonly, they are reviewed after certain years as part of a process of continual improvement. For example, ACI Code is being revised every three years.

This article presents most common and widely used codes used for testing of construction materials.

Various Codes for Construction Material Testing

Standards and Codes which are widely used in the world or are references for other codes include:

  1. ASTM International
  2. Canadian Standard Association (CSA)
  3. European Standard (EN Eurocodes)
  4. British Standards (BS)
  5. Indian Standards (IS)

1. ASTM International

It is the largest source of standards in the world for materials, goods, services and systems. ASTM internatinal also publishes documents on sampling and testing methods for health, safety and performance aspects of materials, effects of physical and biological agents and chemicals, and safety guidelines. Table 1 provides list of standards for testing various construction materials.

Table 1 ASTM international standards for testing different construction materials

Construction materialASTM international standards 
SoilASTM D2216, ASTM D4318, ASTM C136, ASTM D5268, ASTM D6913, ASTM D2974, ASTM D422, ASTM D2434, ASTM D1140, ASTM D7263, ASTM D5918, ASTM D698, ASTM D854, and ASTM D1557
Aggregate and RockASTM C88, ASTM C295, ASTM C127, ASTM D5312, ASTM C128, ASTM D5313, ASTM C29, ASTM D4992, ASTM D5821, ASTM D4791, ASTM D3967, ASTM C131, ASTM D7012, and ASTM C535
Concrete and MasonryASTM C617, ASTM C1231, ASTM C39, ASTM C78


ASTM D6926, ASTM D2726, ASTM D6307, ASTM D5444, and ASTM D2041

2. Canadian Standard Association (CSA)

The CSA is a standard organization which develops standards in Canada. It publishes standards in print and electronic form and provides training and advisory services.

All materials used in construction of buildings and other structures in Canada is manufactured to meet the requirements of the CSA standards. Table 2 provides selected standards used for testing different construction materials.

Table 2 Selected CSA Standards for testing construction materials

Construction materialsCSA standards
CementCSA A3001, CSA A3002, CSA A3003, CSA A3004, and CSA A3005
ConcreteCSA A23.1, CSA A23.2, CSA A23.4, and CSA S806
MasonryCSA A165.1, CSA A165.2, CSA A165.3, CSA A179, CSA A370, and CSA A371

3. European Standard (EN Eurocodes)

Test standards are part of the comprehensive system of European standards relating to construction. They are intended to be used for the determination of material and product properties required for the design of buildings and other civil engineering structures with the EN Eurocodes.

In particular, test standards related to the EN Eurocodes comprise testing for materials, e.g. concrete, masonry, timber and metallic materials, non-destructive test methods as well as fire tests. BS EN is abbreviation for official English version of European standards

Table 3 European Standards for testing different construction materials

Construction materialsEuropean Standards (EN)
concreteBS EN 12390-4:2000, BS EN 12390-5:2000, BS EN 12390-6:2000, BS EN 1170-4:1998
masonryBS EN 1052-1:1999, BS EN 846-5:2000, BS EN 846-6:2000
timberEN 594, EN 1075, EN 1380
metallic materialsBS EN 10002-1:2001
PlywoodBS EN 1072:1995
StoneBS EN 12372:1999, BS EN 14617-15:2005, BS EN 14580, BS EN 14617-2:2004,
AggregateBS 812-2:1995

4. British Standards (BS)

British Standard publications, which are produced by the British Standard Institute, are technical specifications that give recommendations on a wide range of building and construction matters including materials, testing, health and safety, access and regulations and many more.

They are essential reference for architects, developers, building owners, site managers, building contractors, structural engineers and materials specifiers. Table 3 provide a selected list of British Standards for testing construction materials.

Table 4 Selected British Standards for testing construction materials

Construction materialsBritish Standards
ConcreteBS 1881-119:1983, BS 1881-121:1983, BS 1881-127:1990
 resin and polymer/cement compositionsBS 6319-10:1987, BS 6319-11:1993, BS 6319-2:1983, BS 6319-3:1990, BS 6319-6:1984, BS 6319-7:198,
MortarBS EN 1015-11:1999, BS EN 1015-12:2000,

5. Indian Standards (IS)

Indian Standards are large number of documents that published by Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) and involves almost all aspects of civil engineering.

The BIS has developed a set of guidelines in order to guarantee the quality standards of the deferent types of construction materials. These are classified into two broad categories namely; Building Materials including Paints and Civil Engineering Design and Construction.

These standards contain guidelines for testing cement, concrete, concrete admixtures, additives, soil, rock, steel, and aluminum.  Table 5 provide list of Indian standards used for testing various construction materials.

Table 5 Indian Standards for testing construction materials

Construction materialIndian standards
Cement IS 650 – 1991, IS 14032 – 1988,
Coarse / Fine Aggregate IS 2386 (Part I To VIII) 1963
Bricks IS 3495 (Parts I TO iv) 1976
soilIS: 2720 (Part. XIII) 1986,  IS:2720 (Part.30) 1980