Energy Performance of Buildings standards: past and future

Written by Eurac Research

The first EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) was approved in 2002. The Directive required Member States (MS) to reinforce their building regulations and introduce energy performance certifications of buildings. In 2010, the EPBD 2010/31/EU, which is currently in force and focused on nearly Zero-Energy Buildings, replaced the Directive of 2002. In November 2016, it was announced a forthcoming revision.   

A harmonised calculation method is a requirement of the current EPBD. The Directive recommends that “the methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings should take into account European standards”. For this reason, the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association asked 3 European Standardisation Organisations to elaborate and adopt standards establishing a methodology to calculate the integrated Energy Performance of Buildings, which resulted in the publication of EPBD-related CEN standards in 2007-2008. In 2010, a new mandate to update and add standards was issued due to the recast of the EPBD. This new mandate has the opportunity to make EPB standards fitting, to avoid ambiguity and to provide a clear and explicit overview of the choices, boundary conditions and input data.

This task is not limited to Europe, since it has been called for joint planning of new standards between CEN and ISO (International Standards Organisation). The EPB standards have been prepared by five Technical Committees covering specific fields of expertise, as shown the figure below.

Organisational chart of the CEN and ISO Technical Committees involved in preparing EPB standards

Organisational chart of the CEN and ISO Technical Committees involved in preparing EPB standards

In November 2016, the new set of EPB standards was released for the formal vote of the national standard bodies. And, in January 2017 the new EPB standards were finally approved.
Having EPB standards in force is a necessary condition to reach harmonised energy performance calculation method across the EU. Nevertheless, the endorsement of MSs is crucial.
The structure of the standards has been conceived to enable the national implementation. Nevertheless, MSs can still decide to reference specific national standards.

These standards are resources for many professionals of the energy market and are used for many purposes:

  • assessing compliance with building regulation
  • ensuring transparency in real-estate transactions through energy performance certifications
  • monitoring the energy consumption of a building
  • predicting energy savings by planning retrofit measures

Besides, the holistic approach of the EPB standards would be a key driver for technological innovation and would support EU in achieving energy efficient building stock and competitive energy market.

REHVA and ISSO have created the EPB-Centre, which plans, coordinates and guides the process of promoting the standards implementation, and its use, maintenance and further development. 

Full article at BILDUP.EU.