Some years ago, a high number of experts from many countries started to work closely together to develop a coherent set of standardized methods to determine the energy performance of a building (EPB). This set enables the calculation and inspection of the overall energy performance level of a building or building design.

As such, this set of methods is a key instrument to set and evaluate the national and international policy targets. Now is the time to further implement the set on national and regional level. The EPB Center has been set up as a not-for-profit organization, offering the necessary support.

General activities

The EPB Center activities are to plan, coordinate and guide the process of promoting the implementation and use, maintenance and further development of the set of EPB standards and safeguard the coherence of their technical content. Continued coordination is essential as the maintenance and further development of the individual EPB standards is carried out by the various individual Technical Committees of both CEN and ISO.

Other activities which can be done if the desired amount of sponsors is met are, for instance: linking the EPB standards with ECODESIGN, supporting implementation of EPBD in national legal frameworks, codes and building traditions and implementing the EPB standards in the ISO set of standards.

All activities focus on achieving uniformity, flexibility and sustainability as well as cost and risk reductions in the built environment.

Need for coordination

Several countries and regions in the world, including Europe, have set ambitious goals to reduce to (nearly) zero energy in new buildings or deep-renovated buildings over the next few years. The EU Member States will eventually focus on net zero energy districts, with an emphasis on refurbishing existing buildings and increasing the share of renewable energy.

Supported by a mandate (M/480) from the European Commission to CEN, during the years 2011-2016 a coherent set of internationally harmonized procedures has been developed to assess the overall energy performance of buildings, using the 'hollistic' or "systemic" approach: the set of EPB standards.

It is expected that the coming years the relevance of the set of EPB standards, as an important instrument to support the national and international policy goals, will further increase.

The hollistic approach implies that the set of EPB standards has been developed and will be maintained, monitored and improved by different groups of experts, each covering a specific expertise.

The EU mandate M/480 project (2011-2016) ensured the required effective central and horizontal coordination to obtain consistency in the overall approach and in the technical details during the development of the set of EPB standards.