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The set of EPB standards as a whole

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Please check this FAQ section and the FAQ sections under one of the other Topics!
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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

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

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

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