The criteria and standards used in 8 North-European countries were compared and their differences analysed (e.g., parameters like reference floor area, assumptions for free heat gains, required ventilation rates and heat recovery options, boundary conditions for indoor climate and comfort). Information was collected on local criteria and standards for very low-energy houses currently used in the participating countries. The criteria and standards used in the participating countries were compared and their differences were analyzed. For the later comparison and as reference for the low energy definitions, also information on the national building regulations was gathered. The conclusion is that there exist definitions for very low energy buildings in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland there exist no national low energy definitions, but especially passive house concept by Passive House Institute, (PHI) is applied in these countries. The international approach of passive houses by PHI is practically the only very low energy building definition applied across the borders. The very different requirements in the general building regulations as well as in various criteria for very low energy buildings can be seen as a challenge for a market driven penetration of very low energy houses in the Northern European countries.
This report summarizes a part of the work done in task “Very low-energy house criteria and standards for the Northern climates"of IEE NorthPass-project. In this task, the consortium collected information on local criteria and standards for very low-energy houses currently used in the participating countries. This, and other NorthPass results reports can be uploaded from the project website www.northpass.eu