Recycled aggregates
Key Resources:
External Websites
  • Mineral Products Association
    The Mineral Products Association (formerly the Quarry Products Association) website contains more information bulletins on the European Standards for Aggregates.

European Standards for Aggregates (2004)

The 1st June 2004 marked the introduction of an important piece of EU regulation for the UK aggregates industry, in the form of new European Standards for aggregates.

The majority of aggregates suppliers, and the Highways Agency, started adopting these new European Standards for aggregates from the beginning of 2004 to ensure that the new systems were fully integrated by 1st June 2004 when the existing British Standards were withdrawn.

The implications of meeting the 2004 Standards' requirements are that the supply chain has started to communicate in a different way. This included understanding and adopting different grading classification, a category system to describe performance, a new set of sieve sizes and some tests new to the UK.

A key difference is that the standards are for 'aggregates from natural, recycled and manufactured materials', focusing on fitness for purpose and not discriminating between different resources.

All Technical Notes and Purchase Order details on AggRegain are kept updated with the most recent Standards.

More information:

The impact of the changes

As the European Standards apply to all aggregates produced across Europe, they have been created to be flexible enough to allow for the specification of a wide range of aggregates with a number of properties. The 2004 European Standards for aggregates are:

BS EN 12620+A1Aggregates for concrete
BS EN 13043Aggregates for bituminous mixtures and surface treatments for roads, airfields and other trafficked areas*
BS EN 13055-1Lightweight aggregate for concrete
BS EN 13055-2Lightweight aggregate for bound and unbound materials
BS EN 13139Aggregates for mortar
BS EN 13242+A1Aggregates for unbound and hydraulically bound materials for use in civil engineering work and road construction**
BS EN 13383Armourstone
BS EN 13450Aggregates for railway ballast
BS EN 450-1Fly ash for concrete
BS EN 14227-3Flys ash for bound materials
BS EN 14227-4Fly ash for hydraulically bound mixtures

*Additional requirements for constituents of BITUMINOUS MIXTURES are included within the BS EN 13108 "Bituminous mixtures" series (Parts 1 to 8).

BS EN 13108-1Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Asphalt concrete
BS EN 13108-2Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Asphalt concrete for very thin layers
BS EN 13108-3Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Soft Asphalt
BS EN 13108-4Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Hot rolled asphalt
BS EN 13108-5Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Stone Mastic asphalt
BS EN 13108-6Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications. Mastic asphalt
BS EN 13108-7Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications.Porous asphalt
BS EN 13108-8Bituminous Mixtures. Material specifications.Reclaimed asphalt

**Additional requirements for UNBOUND MIXTURES are incorporated into BS EN 13285 "Unbound mixtures - specifications"

These standards make use of the category system to describe aggregate properties, with each category indicating the level of an aggregate property. Therefore, it is these categories that will be used to specify aggregates and to demonstrate aggregates are fit for purpose.

The European Standards facilitate the use of larger amounts of recycled and secondary aggregates across a broad range of applications, including higher value uses, which has contributed to boost the market share of these sustainable materials.

Copies of the European and British Standards can be ordered from the British Standards Institution website.

For more information on the European Standards visit the Mineral Products Association (formerly known as Quarry Products Association) website.  

BSI National Guidance Documents

The British Standards Institution has created dedicated National Guidance Documents (Published Document PD 6682 Parts 1 to 9 and 6691) for the 2004 European Standards. These recommend ranges and limiting values of categories for UK use. They also provide information for most general uses of aggregates in the UK and make additional requirements and recommendations for particular end uses.
Copies of the National Guidance Document can be ordered from the British Standards Institution website.

Effect of EN codes on Sustainable Aggregates

Allowing the use of more recycled and secondary aggregates in a wider range of applications is having positive implications for sustainability, which WRAP are active in promoting.

The requirement, within the standards, for Factory Production Control, for example, is helping producers of recycled and secondary aggregates to demonstrate the quality of their products. The application of CE Marking aims to benchmark standards and give aggregate users the confidence that recycled and secondary materials are of the required quality and equivalent to primary, or natural, materials.

Although there might have been an initial degree of confusion associated with the introduction of new ways of working, WRAP's view is that the 2004 standards have had a positive influence, resulting in further growth in the use of sustainable aggregates in the construction industry.