Changes for pipes and manholes

Implications of the ECJ judgment

The judgment that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued against Germany on 16 October 2014 will change German construction legislation. To implement the ECJ judgment, the Building Codes of the German federal states (Landesbauordnungen), the Lists of Technical Building Rules (Listen der Technischen Baubestimmungen) and Construction Products Lists (Bauregellisten) will be amended, and the requirements for construction products will be linked to the requirements for construction works, which continue to apply. The first federal states will adopt these amended regulations in 2018.

Concrete pipes and manholes are also affected by these changes. This is where the European standardization process had started early on and resulted in the drafting of DIN EN 1916 and DIN EN 1917. However, these standards do not contain the complete range of German specifications, for instance with respect to the concrete grade and cover, which is why they are complemented by DIN V 1201 for pipes and DIN V 4034-1 for manholes. Both standards had previously been included in Construction Products List A, Part 1, governing the use of construction products in Germany in conjunction with the associated Ü mark.

After the ECJ judgment and application of the amended construction legislation, compliance with the two existing German standards continues to be mandatory for using relevant products in Germany. For this purpose, a related provision was also included in the new Administrative Regulation on Technical Building Rules  (Muster-Verwaltungsvorschrift Technische Baubestimmungen; MVV TB), which enables verification of the characteristics not included in the European standards in accordance with DIN V 1201 or DIN V 4034-1.

From a product user’s point of view, the previously applied “automatic” verification process using the Ü mark will thus become a more or less “voluntary” verification under private law. Use of the Bund Güteschutz quality label thus continues to be proof of compliance with the German specifications for incorporating such construction products in pipelines and manhole structures.

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