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.
Standards and Codes which are widely used in the world or are references for other codes include:
Canadian Standard Association (CSA)
European Standard (EN Eurocodes)
British Standards (BS)
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
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
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
European Standards (EN)
BS EN 12390-4:2000, BS EN 12390-5:2000, BS EN 12390-6:2000, BS EN 1170-4:1998
BS EN 1052-1:1999, BS EN 846-5:2000, BS EN 846-6:2000
EN 594, EN 1075, EN 1380
BS EN 10002-1:2001
BS EN 1072:1995
BS EN 12372:1999, BS EN 14617-15:2005, BS EN 14580, BS EN 14617-2:2004,
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
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
IS 650 – 1991, IS 14032 – 1988,
Coarse / Fine Aggregate
IS 2386 (Part I To VIII) 1963
IS 3495 (Parts I TO iv) 1976
IS: 2720 (Part. XIII) 1986, IS:2720 (Part.30) 1980