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(Updated) synopsis CEN-EPBD workplan

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(Rev01, April 26, 2013: CEN working document numbers added)

Dear all,

One year ago I posted a blog with the (draft) CEN-EPBD workplan.

Please find below an (updated) synopsis, followed by updated brief descriptions of the main documents prepared under phase 1 of the project.

Note: See also the blog with the updated time schedule (April 2013)


== Synopsis of the CEN-EPBD work plan ==

CEN and the second EPBD-related Mandate (2010-2015):

A set of standards is being prepared by Technical Committee CEN/TC 371, "Energy Performance of Buildings Project Group" (the secretariat of which is held by NEN) and related CEN Technical Committees (phase 2) under a mandate given to CEN by the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association (Mandate M/480, Dec. 2010), and supports essential requirements of EU Directive 2010/31/EC on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD). It forms a series of standards aimed at European harmonisation of the methodology for the calculation of the energy performance of buildings.


Directive 2010/31/EU recasting the Directive 2002/91/EC on energy performance of buildings (EPBD) promotes the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the European Union, taking into account all types of energy uses (heating, lighting, cooling, air conditioning, ventilation) and outdoor climatic and local conditions, as well as indoor climate requirements and cost effectiveness (Article 1).

The directive requires Member States to adopt measures and tools to achieve the prudent and rational use of energy resources. In order to achieve those goals, the EPBD requires increasing energy efficiency and the enhanced use of renewable energies in both new and existing buildings. One tool for this is the application by Member States of minimum requirements on the energy performance of new buildings and for existing buildings that are subject to major renovation, as well as for minimum performance requirements for the building envelope if energy-relevant parts are replaced or retrofitted. Other tools are energy certification of buildings, inspection of boilers and air-conditioning systems.

The role of the European standards:

The use of European standards increases the accessibility, transparency and objectivity of the energy performance assessment in the Member States facilitating the comparison of best practices and supporting the internal market for construction products. The use of EPB-standards for calculating energy performance, as well as for energy performance certification and the inspection of heating systems and boilers, ventilation and air-conditioning systems will reduce costs compared to developing different standards at national level.

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From the first EPBD-related Mandate (2004-2008) to the second (2010-2015):

The first mandate to CEN to develop a set of standards to support the EPBD (M/343) resulted in the successful publication of several EPBD related CEN standards in 2007-2008.

The second mandate to CEN, Mandate M/480, was issued to review the mandate M/343 as the recast of the EPBD raises the need to revisit the standards and reformulate and add standards so that they become on the one hand unambiguous and compatible, and on the other hand a clear and explicit overview of the choices, boundary conditions and input data that need to be defined at national or regional level. Such national or regional choices remain necessary, due to differences in climate, culture & building tradition, policy and legal frameworks.

Consequently, the current set of EPBD related standards had to be improved and expanded on the basis of the recast of the EPBD. EPB-standards should be flexible enough to allow for necessary national and regional differentiation and facilitate Member States implementation and the setting of requirements by the Member States.

The set of EBP-standards should consist of a comprehensive package of technical specifications and standards that are manageable and user-friendly for regulators, product technical specification drafters, drafters of European Technical Approval Guidelines/Common Understanding Assessment Procedures (ETAGs/CUAPs), producers, notified bodies and users.

Two phases:

The set-up of a coherent set EPB-standards under mandate M/480 is split into two phases.
  • The development of (and agreement on) basic principles and detailed technical rules for drafting EPB-standards providing a coherent modular structure and an overarching EPB-standard following these rules and principles.
  • On the basis of the results of phase 1: the preparation/revision of the complete set of EPB- standards. All the informative documentation and justification, including worked examples of the EPB standards will be laid down in separate Technical Reports, accompanying each of these standards.

It is anticipated that during phase 2 additions or modifications of the overarching EPB-standard (including accompanying technical report) and/or the basic principles and the technical rules might be needed.

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Consistent, comprehensive and unambiguous, but fit for direct implementation at national level:

The basic principles and technical rules are being developed to ensure the necessary overall consistency in terminology, approach, input/output relations and formats in all EPB-standards. In these rules and specifications the requirements from competent national legal authorities of EU and EFTA Member States (aggregated by the CAP-EDMC liaison committee) were taken into account.

One of the main purposes of the revision of the EPB-standards is to enable that laws and regulations directly refer to the EPB-standards and make compliance with them compulsory. This requires that the set of EPB-standards consists of a systematic, clear, comprehensive and unambiguous set of energy performance procedures. The number of options provided is kept as low as possible, taking into account national and regional differences in climate, culture & building tradition, policy and legal frameworks (subsidiarity principle). For each option a default CEN option is provided.

Because the revision of the EPB-standards aims to assist implementation of energy performance regulations at national or regional level, the overarching standard has been written with understanding of practical implementation and is not simply a theoretical paper exercise. Requirements from competent national legal authorities of EU and EFTA Member States (aggregated by the CAP-EDMC liaison committee) with respect to the usability of the standards were and will be taken into account.

Dynamic interaction:

The interaction between the EPB-standards writers and the requirements from the main stakeholders, such as national legal authorities (for Europe aggregated by the CAP-EDMC liaison committee) is a highly dynamic process, as illustrated above.

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== Updated brief description of the main documents prepared under phase 1 of the project ==

The following documents are issued by CEN/TC371 (phase 1) in order to guide the setup and/or revision of standards relevant to the coherent set of EPB-standards (phase 2):

CEN Technical Specification Energy Performance of Buildings , module M1 - Basic Principles for the set of EPB-standards
- CEN working draft document number: CEN/TC 371/N 268 (April 2013)
- Future CEN document number: CEN/TS 16628

This Technical Specification provides guidance on the required quality, accuracy, usability and consistency of each standard and the rationalisation of different options given in the standards, providing a balance between the accuracy and level of detail, on one hand, and the simplicity and availability of input data, on the other. The basic principles and rules will also comprise rules and formats for the separation of harmonised procedures and choices and input at national or regional level.

Consequently it addresses topics such as:

  • a common format for each standard, including a systematic, hierarchic and procedural description of options, input/output variables and relations with other standards;
  • a clear separation of the procedures, options and data to be provided at national or regional level;
  • a common structure of easily accessible and comparable national annexes to each standard, containing the national or regional options, boundary conditions and input data;
  • an informative technical report, accompanying each standard, according to a common structure, comprising at least the results of internal validation tests, examples and background information;
  • a clear and comprehensive field of application (scope );
  • ensuring that all procedures are software proof and unambiguous;
  • ensuring that the standards will be concise and complete, that can be easily referenced in legislation;
  • rationalisation of different options given in the standards, each option aiming at specific applications with respect to availability of input data and impact on the energy performance.
The basic principles are intended as basis (the "why") for a set of detailed technical rules and an over-arching standard (the "how").

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CEN Technical Specification, Energy Performance of Buildings , module M1 - Detailed Technical Rules for the set of EPB-standards
- CEN working draft document number: CEN/TC 371/N 269 (April 2013)
- Future CEN document number: CEN/TS 16629

This Technical Specification, based on the basic principles, provides detailed technical guidance for the drafting and/or revision of EPB-standards. In addition, the following documents are available

  • a template for the EPB-standards, including reminders of applicable rules in the relevant clauses;
  • a template for the EPB Technical reports that shall accompany each EPB standard;
  • a spread sheet template to be used to demonstrate the correctness of the standardised calculation procedures.

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CEN Standard, Energy performance of buildings, Module M1 - Overarching standard EPB
- CEN working draft document number: CEN/TC 371/N 260 (Dec. 2012)
- Future CEN document number: EN 15603 [revised]

The over-arching standard, prEN 15603, contains the overarching terms, definitions and overall energy performance assessment procedures, as a basis for a systematic, clear and comprehensive set of EPB standards.

The modular structure provided by the over-arching EPB-standard maximizes the possibilities for step-by-step based implementation on a national level considering requirements set by competent legislator bodies at regional level. Different countries may have different policy priorities that have to be balanced, and are subject to different practical constraints on implementation procedures, including the need to take into account, at least during a transition period, well-established existing practices and procedures. In addition, for European countries, some of the EPBD requirements are capable of more than one interpretation.

The overarching standard re-uses the main elements of EN 15603:2008 (Overall energy use and definition of energy rating) and core elements of other key standards, including common definitions, terms and symbols. However, the procedures have been made more precise, unambiguous and software proof. Moreover, the scope has been extended with several new items that are essential to serve its purpose.

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CEN Technical Report, Energy Performance of buildings - Module M1-x - Accompanying Technical Report on draft Overarching standard EPBD
- CEN working draft document number: CEN/TC 371/N 270 (April 2013)
- Future CEN document number: CEN/TR 15615 [revised]

There is a high risk that the purpose and limitations of the EPB standards will be misunderstood, unless the background and context to their contents and the thinking behind them - is explained in some detail to readers of the standards. If this explanation is attempted in the standards themselves, the result is likely to be confusing and cumbersome. The objective of this Technical Report is to provide and explain this context for the over-arching standard, prEN 15603:2013.

The detailed technical rules ask for a clear separation between normative and informative contents:

  • to avoid flooding and confusing the actual normative part with informative content;
  • to reduce the page count of the actual standard;
  • to facilitate understanding of the package.
Therefore each EPB-standard shall be accompanied by an informative Technical Report, where all informative contents is collected.

This Technical Report relates to the standard that addresses the overarching principles for EPB-standards. Separate Technical Reports will be produced to supplement each substantive EPB-standard.

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Accompanying software tool for validating and demonstrating the overarching standard

As for each of the EPB standards, the applicability of the procedures in the overarching standard is demonstrated and validated by an accompanying software tool. The software tool is being developed, in dynamic interaction with the standard. It follows the procedures in the overarching standard and will (as far as possible) anticipate on requirements relating to the other EPB standards to be developed or revised.
Note that this tool is no implementation tool.


== Some of the related blogs: ==

Other elevant link:Overview article: CEN Standards to Support the Recast EPBD: Where Are We Now? (Oct. 2012)

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(Updated) synopsis CEN-EPBD workplan