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What does the EPBD stipulate for summer comfort and how does this affect energy use and building design?

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Article 4 of the EPBD stipulates explicitly that attention should be paid to indoor climate conditions: “Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that minimum energy performance requirements for buildings are setThese requirements shall take account of general indoor climate conditions, in order to avoid possible negative effects…”.

This is also listed in the annex of the EPBD: The methodology of calculation of energy performances of buildings shall include…

(d) ventilation;…

(h) natural ventilation;…

(i) indoor climatic conditions, including the designed indoor climate.”

Whereas in the past the major challenge was to keep our buildings sufficiently warm, nowadays the challenge is in guaranteeing reasonable comfort conditions in summer without (or with minimum) cooling energy. It is therefore important that building designers and other stakeholders understand the thermal behavior of a building and its occupants and are aware of the available alternative techniques that substantially improve the comfort in the building and significantly decrease (or even eliminate) energy consumption. For example, solar and thermal control techniques, heat amortisation and heat dissipation techniques have been proven to be extremely efficient and may decrease the cooling load of buildings up to 80 %.