Free online access to British Standards


Following detailed representations by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), members and the wider public can now access British Standards for free online via Libraries NI.

Libraries NI has acquired the British Standards Online (BSOL) subscription service which provides Libraries NI members with free access to a database of more than 100,000 British, European and International standards. 

To view the full database of standards, any existing library member can log on to British Standards Online via the Libraries NI website and enter their library membership and PIN number.  If you are not yet a library member, simply join online or call in to your local library.


Whilst all standards can be viewed online, the Libraries NI subscription does not allow the standards to be downloaded. There is therefore no need to download any plug-ins. The RSUA is encouraging members to make use of the service as its continuation is likely to depend on levels of usage.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the business standards organisation that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Maintained and updated daily, BSOL keeps users up to date on the latest best practice, compliance guidelines and can help users improve performance, cut costs, manage, and reduce risk across a range of industry classifications and themes.

RSUA Director, Ciarán Fox, said “I would like to thank our members for highlighting the absence of free access to British Standards in Northern Ireland and helping to build the case for change. Thanks also to the Libraries NI board for supporting our request to acquire the service and put it live. This move will make a real impact on the day to day working practices of architects throughout Northern Ireland.”

Libraries NI Chief Executive, Jim O’Hagan, said “We are delighted to be offering this free service to all our library members allowing customers, especially those working in business, industry or education, the opportunity to view the entire database of standards from the comfort of their own homes, office or from a work space in their local library.

“This is a fantastic resource with standards available from a range of industry classifications and themes, which we hope will assist our members by providing them with free access to construction standards.”

For further information on this service offered by Libraries NI or any assistance, please contact or call 0345 450 4580, Mon – Fri 9:15am – 4:45pm.