The role of cement in the
2050 Low Carbon Economy

ANNEX 1: European Standards for Cement and Concrete


European cement standard EN 197-1 Cement – Part 1: Composition, specifications and conformity criteria for common cements defines 27 distinct common cement products and their constituents. The standard includes requirements for constituents and performance requirements in terms of mechanical, physical and chemical parameters for all 27 products.

Three standard strength classes are defined at 28 days (32.5, 42.5 and 52.5). In addition, three early strength classes are included for each standard strength class: low early strength, ordinary early strength and high early strength.

The 27 products are grouped into five main cement types as follows:

  • CEM I Portland cement (>95% clinker)
  • CEM II Portland-composite cement (65-94% clinker)
  • CEM III Blastfurnace cement (5-64% clinker)
  • CEM IV Pozzolanic cement (45-89% clinker)
  • CEM V Composite cement (20-64% clinker)


European concrete standard EN 206-1 Concrete – Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity applies to concrete for structures cast in situ, precast structures, and precast structural products for buildings and civil engineering construction. The concrete may be mixed on site, ready-mixed or produced in a plant for precast concrete products.

The standard specifies requirements for the following:

  • Constituent materials of concrete
  • Properties of fresh and hardened concrete
  • Limitations for concrete composition                                          

EN 206-1 is a voluntary rather than harmonised standard. Where general solutions have not been agreed across Europe, relevant clauses permit the application of national standards or provisions valid where the concrete is used. CEN members, through their national application of EN 206-1, outline, in a national annex, rules based on historical experience for the use of cements in concrete for specific applications. In many cases, these rules also extend to the use of various additional cement constituents (inorganic materials) deemed appropriate for such applications.

Varying climatic conditions, raw material availability and experience have led to significant differences in standards, regulations and practices in local and regional markets in terms of how different cement types can be used for given applications. This is due to historical knowledge of cement performance in its numerous applications and the diversity of climatic conditions found across Europe.