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General

The set of EPB standards as a whole

FAQ

Questions?

Please check this FAQ section and the FAQ sections under one of the other Topics!
If you have another question, please contact us..

Standards and innovation

How do standards deal with innovation?

International standards in general are a valuable tool for facilitating cross-border trade and knowledge exchange, thus stimulating the implementation of novel technologies.
Standards promote innovation, because they consolidate the latest knowledge into agreed assessment procedures and it is the policy of both ISO and CEN to periodically update their standards.
The set of EPB standards in particular strongly facilitate the implementation of novel technologies because of the holistic approach and the modular structure.

Read more on the holistic approach and innovation

2019.07.19

The set of EPB standards and national implementation

If the set of EPB standards is used in different countries, will -for a given building- the energy performance rating be the same for each country?

No. Each EPB standard is unambiguous, however allows specific choices to be made at national/regional level for accommodating differences in climate, building tradition, policy and user behaviour.

Example 1: The energy performance depends much upon the outdoor climate (e.g. temperature and solar radiation). Using different climates leads to different results.

Example 2: Each country/region can choose to include or exclude the lighting outside the building (e.g. for car parks) in the EPB assessment. Obviously this will affect the results.

The National Annexes/National Data Sheets are designed to provide information on the choice in a specific country/region. Note that such differences will also have an effect on the national/regional levels for the minimum EP requirements and EP ratings, which may to some extent compensate the differences in the calculated energy performance.

A more detailed discussion on this subject can be found in e.g. CEN ISO/TR 52003-2.

Read more on page on flexibility/national choice

See also FAQs on “National choices” further on.

2019.07.22

EPB standards and European Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD)

Is the set of EPB standards mandatory in Europe?

Annex I to the EPBD sets out a common general framework for calculating buildings' energy performance and, inter alia, describing national methodologies. To meet the objectives of energy efficiency policy for buildings, energy performance certificates (EPCs) should be made more transparent by ensuring that all necessary calculation parameters, both for minimum energy performance requirements and for certification, are set out and applied consistently.

Annex I to the EPBD has been amended in 2018 for improving the transparency and consistency of the 33 different regional and national energy performance calculation methodologies. It now requires Member States to describe their calculation methodologies in line with the energy performance of buildings (EPB) standards.

Although the EPBD does not require Member States to refer to the EPB standards as the calculation method for EPCs and compliance with minimum energy performance (legal) requirements, adopting the EPB standards is the simplest and recommended option.

As stated in the recital of the EPBD: “…the recognition and promotion of the EPB standards across the Member States would have a positive impact on the implementation of the Directive.
Also: “…the comparative methodology framework to identify cost-optimal levels of energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements … should be based on relevant European standards relating to this Directive.

2019.07.22

For the purpose of EPBD implementation, is there any possibility to provide national policy makers or regulators free access to the set of EPB standards?

The EPB standards are protected by CEN and/or ISO copyright.

There is no specific agreement between the EC and CEN to give national policy makers or regulators free access to the standards for the purpose of EPBD implementation.

2019.07.22

 

National choices

Is it correct that an EPB standard can be adopted in a country with some of its content replaced by national procedures?

If a country adopts an EPB standard, it can make use of the specific degrees of freedom given in Annex A of that standard (template for national choices).
These choices are introduced to accommodate national/regional differences in climate, building tradition, policy and user behaviour. This is what is known as the National Annex or National Data Sheet.

The template of Annex A of a given EPB standard even allows to replace one or more references to other EPB standards by references to one or more national standards. The condition is that such national standard complies with the input/output connections to the other standards and EPB framework methodology. This option could be used for a step-by-step implementation of the set of EPB standards at national level.

Other changes would not be in line with the EPB standard.

Read more on national annexes

2019.07.22

 

Are there specific guidelines about how to fill in a National Annex to an EPB standard?

For filling in a National Annex or National Data Sheet following the template given in Annex A of each EPB standard, you find guidance in the general introduction of the Annex A itself.

Note that, for the same EPB standard, different National Annexes or National Data Sheets may be prepared, each for a different purpose. For instance depending on:

  • Type of application according to national building regulation (e.g. EP certificate, building permit, use permit, incentives, etc.).
  • Type of building;
  • Climate zone;
  • Etc.

In addition, a template for National Annexes or National Data Sheets is available. If you are interested, please let us know and we will provide you with the most recent version!

Read more on national annexes

2019.07.22

 

Most EPB standards allow specific national or regional input data, provided the template given in Annex A of the standard is respected. Is it allowed to refer to tables or formulas instead of a single default value?

Yes. For instance a value depending on the application or depending on specific conditions or year of construction. As long as the result is a value for the required input data.
Read more on flexibility / national choices

2019.07.22

 

What is the difference between a National Annex and a National Data Sheet?

Each country/region can make a specific set of choices, according to the template of Annex A of a given EPB standard, for the assessment of the energy performance. Or different sets, depending on the application.

Once this template of Annex A is filled in with the national data and choices, it can be published.

  • If it is published by the National Standardization Body, as Annex to the standard, it is called a National Annex. This is the preferred option (most transparent and accessible).
  • If it is published by a national/regional building authority, it is called a National Data Sheet.

So for the user it is only a matter of where to find it.
The National Annex can be found as Annex to the EPB standard and the National Data Sheet can be found e.g. embedded in regulations. There is no difference in the type of content, or template used.

Read more on national-annexes
Read more in EC Recommendation 1

2019.07.22

 

Each EPB standard allows specific choices to accommodate national/regional differences in climate, building tradition, policy and user behaviour. Is it then allowed for a national authority to make specific choices mandatory?

Indeed, each country/region can make specific choices to accommodate national/regional differences in climate, building tradition, policy and user behaviour, as long as the template of Annex A of a given EPB standard is respected.

These choices are laid down in a National Annex or National Data Sheet on that standard.

Such a document is in itself informative and not mandatory. However, a National Annex or National Data Sheet can be made mandatory for use within a specific context. For instance, a public authority may issue a National Data Sheet or refer to a National Annex to the standard, containing the required parameters (“filled in” Annex A) for specific regulatory purposes (energy performance certificates (EPCs), building permit, use permit, incentives, etc.).

2019.07.22

How can EU Member States follow the template of Annex A of a given EPB standard to describe their national calculation procedures (acc. to EPBD:2018, Annex 1) if their national calculation procedures are different?

According to EPBD:2018, Annex 1, when EPB standards are not adopted in full by a EU Member State, then the Annex A of the standard should be used as a template to describe the national calculation methodology and national choices, ensuring compliance with the EPBD.
If a Member State is able to use the normative template, as presented in Annex A of a given EPB standard, to describe the corresponding part of their national methodology without any violation of the template, then the national method is fully in line with the EPB standard. In that case, technically speaking, the EPB standard is “de facto” adopted.

If this is not the case, there will be elements in the national calculation procedures that do not (or not fully) fit in the template. To respect the template as much as possible it is advised to clearly mark and explain the deviation at the highest level of detail possible.

The EPB Center is preparing examples and tips.
Please contact the EPB Center if you have a specific question on this issue!

More information:

2019.07.22

The template for national choices (Annex A in each EPB standard) is mandatory. Does this mean that all tables shall be filled in always?

If (a part of) a table in Annex A of the EPB standard is not applicable due to national choices that are in line with the standard, the corresponding (part of) the table in the National Annex or National Datasheet may be left blanc. It is strongly advised be stated explicitly why (the part of) the table is not filled in. For example:

  • Case 1: table An EPB standard offers a choice between two methods (e.g. simplified or detailed, monthly or hourly time interval). If the national choice only allows one of the methods, then all tables about the other method are irrelevant and may be kept blank. In this case an explanatory note should be placed in or below these tables, for example: “According to Table NA.xx the national choice is for Method A. Tables A.xx – A.yy are only relevant for Method B.”.
  • Case 2: Some tables are intended to offer the possibility to specify (national or regional and typically ‘conservative’) default values, in case project specific data are not or not yet available. If the national choice is not to provide default values, then the table may be left blank. In this case, an explanatory note should be placed in or below the table, for example: “No default choices: the choice is project dependent”.

See worked examples in the Guide on National Annexes

2020-03-03

Are all National Annexes and National Datasheets publicly available?

A National Annex is filled in and published by a National Standards Body (NSB), as annex to the national implementation of the EPB standard. The NSB can choose to publish this stapled to the standard, or as separate document(s). Consequently, it is publicly available, but it may not be available for free.

A National Datasheet can be a separate document referred to by the building regulations, or an integral part of the building regulation implementing the EPBD. One may therefore expect it to be publicly and freely available.

Development of a National Annex or National datasheet is a critical process that may take some time. Although countries are working on it, at the beginning of 2020 there were no (known) publications.

A National Annex or National Datasheet to describe the national method in terms of the Annexes A of the five so called overarching EPB standards (acc. to EPBD:2018, Annex 1) may not be publicly available: see FAQ “Where can I find…”

2020-03-03

 

Where can I find an overview of the reports from the EU Member States to describe their national calculation procedures, according to EPBD:2018, Annex 1?

National Annexes or National Datasheets to describe the national method in terms of the Annexes A of the five so called overarching EPB standards (acc. to EPBD:2018, Annex 1*)) are included in the national report to the European Commission and not necessarily made publicly available.

*): See also FAQ “How can EU Member States follow …”

Moreover, the reports may not be available at the moment of writing this answer, because the deadline is March 10, 2020.
If available and if publication is permitted, the reports will be made available at the EPB Center website.

NOTE: In order to improve comparability, it is recommended that Member States make the description of their calculation methodologies publicly available, e.g. by uploading the filled-in templates to a website or annexing them to their building codes, etc.

Making the calculation methodology publicly available will also help Member States to fulfil the EPBD requirement to ensure that the methodology applied for the determination of the energy performance of a building shall be transparent.

2020-03-03

Where at the EPB Center website can I find an overview of National Annexes and National Datasheets for different countries?

At  the page on National Annexes we are collecting examples, as far as made available for publication at the EPB Center website.

See also FAQs “Are all … available?” and “Where can I find …”

2020-03-03

Is there a guide or model to describe the national calculation procedures, as required by EPBD Annex 1?

Yes, an extensive guide how to fill in National Annexes or National Data Sheets is available upon request. (link to https://epb.center/implementation/national-annexes/).

The Guide comprises tips (“do’s and don’ts”), worked out examples and tips.

The Guide also contains recommendations. e.g. on:

  • How to differentiate national choices for different applications
  • How to clearly mark the differences in national choices compared to the informative default choices in Annex B of each standard.
  • How to clearly mark violations of the template (if unavoidable) in case of deviating national methodology.

Following these recommendations would strongly facilitate comparison with other countries.

If you are interested in receiving the Guide, please let us know and we will provide you with the most recent version.

Also available upon request: a file with fillable Annexes B of (EN) ISO 52000-1. 52003-1, 52010-1, 52016-1 and 52018-1, in English only.

See also FAQs “Where can I find …” and “How can EU Member States follow …”

2020-03-03

 

To describe the national calculation procedures, as required by EPBD Annex 1, do we have a choice between National Annexes or National Datasheets?

If the template of Annex A of the EPB standard can be filled in without any violation of the template and without de facto altering the provisions of the EPB standard, a National Annex or a National Datasheet may be used. See FAQ on the difference between these two options.

A National Annex to the EPB standard is not an option if the template is violated or if the filled in national choices lead to de facto alterations of the normative provisions of the EPB standard. In that case the only choice is a National Datasheet.

More info in the Guide

2020-03-03

 

For the description of the national calculation procedures, as required by EPBD Annex 1, why is it important to follow the template of Annex A of the EPB standards?

If a certain part of the national calculation procedures is fully based on the relevant EPB standards, then the national choices logically follow the template of Annex A of the relevant EPB standards.

In other cases this may not be 100% possible. Nevertheless, it is important to follow the template as much as possible, because:

•    It greatly facilitates analysis.
•    It facilitates comparison between countries.
•    It helps to show the elements where the EPB standards could not be followed. This is important feedback to CEN and ISO, for future improvement and further harmonization of the EPB standards.
•    The template provides clear and consistent choices. For instance, if the tables to provide primary energy conversion factors (EN ISO 52000-1) are followed, ambiguities in the national choices will be automatically revealed. The template thus helps to create consistent national choices. , This is demonstrated in one of the worked out examples in the Guide on how to fill in National Annexes or Datasheets.

If you are interested in receiving the Guide, please let us know and we will provide you with the most recent version.

Also available upon request: a file with fillable Annexes B of (EN) ISO 52000-1. 52003-1, 52010-1, 52016-1 and 52018-1, in English only.

See also FAQs “Are there specific guidelines…” and “How can EU Member States follow…”

2020-03-03

What happens with “Annex B” of an EPB standard, if the National Annex or National Datasheet is different?

Annex B is and remains an informative Annex to the EPB standard. The National Annex can be annexed to the national implementation of the EPB standard or published as separate document see FAQ “Are all …. publicly available?”). So, an EPB standard will have Annex B with default European choices and might also have an Annex NA with the national choices.

The same situation in case the national choices are laid down in a National Datasheet: Annex B says where it is. It is part of the standard.

2020-03-03

International standards: ISO and CEN

Why is not the full set of EPB standards available at global (ISO) level?

In general, the choice to start the development of a new standard is up to the stakeholders.
The development of the set of EPB standards was originally initiated by the European Commission under mandate M/480, to support the energy performance of buildings directive, EPBD (link to EPBD).

Europe started to develop EPB-related CEN (=European) standards many years ago (read more). So it made sense to take these as the starting point.
However, in the area of thermal and solar properties of building components (including windows), energy needs for heating and cooling and climatic data a long years cooperation existed already between CEN and ISO, so these EPB standards were developed as EN ISO standards from the beginning. For instance: EN ISO 52016-1, as successor of the well-known EN ISO 13790:2008 on the calculation of heating and cooling needs.

Because each EPB standard leans strongly on the overarching EPB standard (EN ISO 52000-1), that standard has also been adopted at ISO level.

Some of the EPB standards dealing with heating and cooling systems and with building automation and control are currently being prepared to become global (EN ISO) standards. And in a few years the rest might follow.

Read more:

2019.07.22

 

Each ISO standard is relevant at global level, including Europe. So why are the EPB standards that have been prepared in collaboration between ISO and CEN, published as combined European (CEN) and global international (ISO) standards and not simply published as ISO standards?

By preparing the standard as a combined CEN and ISO standard, the final draft standard is subjected to parallel voting:

  • by the ISO members to approve publication as an ISO standard, and
  • by the CEN members to approve it as a CEN standard.

If the final draft is approved in ISO, but rejected in CEN, CEN may decide to develop a separate CEN standard on the same subject. This process ensures that the European interests are taken into account.

This is very important, because the European Standardization System is unique in the world. After the publication of a European Standard, each national standards body or committee is obliged to withdraw any national standard which conflicts with the new European Standard. Hence, one European Standard becomes the national standard in all the 34 member countries of CEN and/or CENELEC.

In addition, some CEN standards may also be made mandatory in the framework of EU legislation. However, this is not the case for the set of EPB standards.

Read more on ISO and CEN, the road ahead
See also Q&A: Is the set of EPB standards mandatory in Europe?

2019.07.22

Is it correct that the set of EPB standards is mainly relevant for Europe?

No. The set of EPB standards was originally initiated by the European Commission for support the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The set of EPB standards is of equal relevance at global (ISO) level.

As a matter of fact, already one third of the EPB standards, for instance the overarching EPB standard (EN ISO 52000-1), are available as combined European (CEN) and global (ISO) standards.

Read more on ISO and CEN, the road ahead

2019.07.22

Errata in the EPB standards

Where can I ask questions or submit comments if something is unclear or maybe wrong in one of the EPB standards under this topic?

Please contact us if you have a question or comment on one of the EPB standards…

In general, the National Standard Body can be contacted for information and comments on any CEN or ISO standard. A list of National Standards Bodies can be found here.

Specifically for the EPB standards:
Part of the services of the EPB Center is to collect presumed errors and questions on the content of EPB standards and their accompanying technical reports.

The EPB Center experts prepare, to their best knowledge, proposals for corrections and/or clarifications.
The EPB Center may communicate and publish these proposals, purely to support the implementation and application of these standards and technical reports in practice.
For such proposals the CEN/ISO commenting template will be used, to ensure an efficient communication with CEN and ISO.

In no way these proposals shall be regarded as formal corrigenda to the related CEN or ISO documents. It is up to CEN/ISO to decide upon the preparation of an amendment or revision of the document.

See also general disclaimer

2020-06-08

Highlights

Template national Annexes

The EPB standards aim to provide a consistent, unambiguous and harmonized set of assessment procedures.

But clearly identified options a...

Documents

Support documents

Name Download Updated Theme Geographical scope
Guide National Annexes 04-11-2019 National Annexes or National Datasheets Global

Presentations

Name Download Updated Theme Geographical scope
Webinar - Guidance and examples for the EPB standards’ flexibility 04-02-2020 National Annexes or National Datasheets Global
Webinar - EPB standards overview: why, how, what! 19-03-2020 The set of EPB standards Global
Webinar - EPB standards hourly versus monthly methods 26-05-2020 (EP) Calculation procedures Global
Webinar - EPB standards linked to health and wellbeing 17-06-2020 (EP) Calculation procedures Global
Webinar – Heating systems in the EPB standards 08-09-2020 (EP) Calculation procedures Global
Webinar - Calculations with the set of EPB standards (I) - Introduction and overarching calculation procedures 06-10-2020 (EP) Calculation procedures Global
Webinar - Calculations with the set of EPB standards (II) - Energy needs combined with specific systems 20-10-2020 (EP) Calculation procedures Global
Short video - The EPB Standards Explained - Your map for the EPB standards 24-03-2020 The set of EPB standards Global

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