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European standardization work for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

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The following European standardization bodies create European technical rules with relevance for energy saving in construction:

  • CEN (European Committee for Standardization; Fr. Comité Européen de Normalisation) and
  • CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization; Fr. Comité Européen de Normalisation Électrotechnique)

In the telecommunication sector, the European standardization is handled by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute),

Members of these organizations are the national standards organizations, in Germany

  • in CEN, the German Institute for Standardization DIN and
  • in CENELEC in the German Commission for Electrical Engineering, Electronic and Information Engineering DKE.

Process of setting European technical regulations

European Standards are developed in various technical committees (TC). In the area of the energy efficiency of buildings act among others:

  • CEN-TC 89 "Thermal performance of buildings and building components"
  • CEN TC 156 "Ventilation for buildings"
  • CEN TC 169 "Light and lighting"
  • CEN TC 228 "Heating systems in buildings"
  • CEN TC 247 "Building Automation, Controls and Building Management"
  • CEN TC 371 "Project Committee - Energy Performance of Buildings project group"

Drafts of the technical committees are coordinated in a multistep process in the member organizations and adopted by a prescribed quorum. In doing so, the interests of the Member States are generally placed by the national member organizations. The members have committed themselves to adopt European standards to their national regulations and to withdraw own contradicting national standards.

Mandate 343 of the Commission to the "old" European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (2002/91/EU)

In 2004, the European Commission authorized CEN and CENELEC by the mandate 343 to develop technical rules for the support of the European directive on the energy efficiency of buildings. The mandate initially affected 31 standardization issues - mainly norms that had to be revised and only a few new standards. Some topics were merged in the course of processing, while others (e.g. standards on the efficiency of heating systems) were divided into individual standards.
Given the short timeline, many already existing standards and the many committees working parallel, the standardization work could not lead to a mutually satisfactory outcome. CEN published therefore a so-called "Umbrella Document", which should link the standards with each other subsequently.

The acceptance by the Member States, which transposed the directive into national law, was cautious because the rules were clearly available too late for an in-time implementation (January 2006) - the vast majority of Member States had therefore developed their own national but compatible calculation methods.

Mandate 480 of the Commission for the "current" European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (2010/31/EU)

The Commission used the recast EPBD and the experiences with European standards as an occasion for a continuation of the standardization mandate in December 2010. This mandate 480 places special emphasis on the fact that the rules are to be suitable for public use. Special attention is also paid to the applicability to existing buildings as well as the consistency of the calculation approaches.

CEN has:

"to cooperate with a Liaison Committee consisting of Member States (members of
the EDMC3) for the purpose of verifying and monitoring progress with respect to
the requirements set by the Member States in their national legislation; Member
State will be consulted during the standardisation process when deciding on:

a) which standards to prepare or revise, and its objectives;
b) main principles and stucture of each of the new standards;
c) final text of the standard."

The Liaison Committee constituted on 28 June 2011 in The Hague, includes a representative each from Germany, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic and Sweden. Germany is represented by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR). Primary counterpart is the CEN-TC 371.

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