Standards and design codes are necessary to guarantee the desired safety and performance of structures. With regard to timber structures, considerable differences exist in the standards and design codes between Europe and Japan. In this contribution the framework of design codes for timber structure in Europe and Japan is compared. The fundamental approach in the structural planning, application of load and associated fire regulation is explained. Furthermore, a case study of the structural design of a 3-storey residential building with light-frame timber structure is performed to highlight the differences in the structural calculation and design approaches in construction details. Finally, potential optimization of different standards is suggested.