EPB standards 2017
The new EPB standards
As in 2010 the recast of the EPBD was published, in the same year the European Commission and the European Free Trade Association gave a second mandate to CEN (M/480) to update and add EPB standards.
This mandate was the occasion for the working groups of CEN to make the new EPB standards more fitting and unambiguous and to provide a clear and explicit overview of the choices, boundary conditions and input data that need to be defined at national/regional level. CEN Technical Committee (TC) 371 was appointed to coordinate this ambitious program.
The work program of CEN TC 371 was organized in two phases. In Phase I, priority was given to the development of (and agreement on) basic principles and of an overarching standard providing a continuous but modular structure to the set of EPB standards. Based on this robust common framework, in Phase II the various TCs prepared/revised the standards.
Under the Vienna Agreement, the EBP standards have been prepared or revised by five CEN Technical Committees (TCs) and two ISO TCs. To ensure an effective central management and to secure consistency of the overall approach, these committees were coordinated by a group of Core Team Leaders (CTL) of the CEN TC 371.
The joint work of CEN and ISO Technical Committees aimed at a complete and consistent set of EPB EN ISO standards. Several EPB standards were prepared or revised as combined EN ISO standards, or, when not possible, the ISO and EN version have been kept as similar as possible, with the aim of merging them at a later stage. To support this plan and increase global awareness on the EPB set, a series of consecutive ISO numbers have been reserved for EPB standards. The numbers go from EN ISO 52000 to 52150, with sub-series for the successive modules.
In November 2016, the new set of EPB standards was released for the Formal Vote of the National Standard Bodies and in January 2017 they were approved. Since August 2017, almost 7 years later from the issue of mandate M/480, the task of CEN has been finally accomplished and all the EPB standards are published, thus becoming the national standards in force in all member countries.
Understanding the standards
Four documents constitute the fundamentals of the new set of EBP standards:
- The CEN Technical Specification CEN/TS 16628:2014 Energy Performance of Buildings - Basic Principles for the set of EPB standards. It offers a record of the rationale, background information and all choices made in designing the EPB package.
- The CEN Technical Specification CEN/TS 16629:2014 Energy Performance of Buildings - Detailed Technical Rules for the set of EPB-standards. It provides mandatory detailed technical rules to be followed in the preparation of each individual EPB standard.
- The EPB overarching standard EN ISO 52000-1 - Energy performance of buildings - Overarching EPB assessment - Part 1: General framework and procedures. It contains the common terms, definitions and symbols and the overall modular structure for the set of EPB standards.
- The Technical Report accompanying the overarching EBP standard, CEN ISO/TR 52000-2 - Energy performance of buildings - Overarching EPB assessment - Part 2: Explanation and justification of ISO 52000-1. It supports the correct understanding, use and national implementation of EN ISO 52000‑1.
These standards are direct outcomes of the work of CEN TC 371, in charge of the coordination of the whole EPB program. They resulted from Phase I of the work program of TC 371, as they provide the basis for developing and understanding all the other EPB standards.
By complying with these four documents, all the published EPB standards guarantee to users a consistent but flexible structure and a clear distinction between normative and informative contents.
EBP standards’ main features
Consistency - EBP standards overall modular structure
EN ISO 52000-1, the OverArching Standard (OAS), answers the need of making the new set of EPB standards consistent, unambiguous and transparent. Indeed, the OAS provides a modular structure for the assessment of the overall energy performance of buildings.
In this structure, the EPB standards are grouped in three main areas plus one extra area for future developments in the holistic approach to the energy performance of buildings:
- Overarching standards
- Building (as such)
- Technical Building Systems under EPB
- Other systems or appliances (currently not under EPB)
Each area contains modules, which arrange the contents in homogenous groups of energy-related building components. In turn, modules are organized in sub-modules, to further specify the area of interested of any given standard. Figure below summarizes this structure.
These modular elements consider all types of building-related energy uses, outdoor climatic and local conditions, as well as indoor climate requirements.
This structure sets the basis for the holistic approach pursued by the set of EPB standard. That’s why the overall framework provided by the OAS is considered as the “backbone” of the set of EPB standards and facilitates their step-by-step implementation.
In the OAS, modules and sub-modules are hierarchically numbered. Based on the contents of each EPB standard, the corresponding modules identification codes are coupled with the name of the standard, so that users can easily identify its main purpose.
Flexibility - Annex A/Annex B approach
In order to combine European/world-wide harmonized calculation procedures with local implementation processes, EPB standards were set up to be flexible enough for the national/regional adaptations. To do so, each EPB standard is accompanied by Annexes A and B.
Annex A (normative) is a mandatory (empty) framework template for choices and input data and references to other EPB standards.
Annex B (informative) is the framework template of Annex A compiled with one set of voluntary default choices and input data and references to other EPB standards.
In general, each individual user of the EPB standard is free to create his/her own data sheet according to the template of Annex A, thus replacing the default choices and values of Annex B.
However, national/regional authorities can mandatory prescribe a specific set of choices and values (a specific data sheet according to the template of Annex A) for the assessment of the energy performance in the context of their building regulations. In this case, the National Standardization Body can decide to include a National Annex in agreement with the template of Annex A or to provide data sheets containing the choices and values to be inserted in Annex A.
Norms vs. Information - Technical Reports and spreadsheets
Another goal of the new EBP standards was to clearly separate normative and informative contents, to avoid users’ misunderstanding and to reduce the standards’ page counts.
Thus, CEN/TS 16629:2014 required EPB standards to contain normative parts only, and to include any informative documentation and justification in Technical Reports accompanying the corresponding standards/group of standards.
The EN-ISO documents differentiates normative from informative contents by assigning a numbering criteria: standards are always numbered with an odd sub-series number (e.g. EN ISO 52000-1), technical reports with an even sub-series number (e.g. CEN ISO/TR 52000-2).
To provide additional support to users, each EPB standard containing calculation procedures was coupled with an accompanying spreadsheet, in which the calculation procedure is tested, validated and shown in practice. These spreadsheets are publicly available online.
EPB standards synopsis
Technical Committees involved in EPB standards
CEN Technical Committees
- CEN/TC 89 - Thermal performance of buildings and building components.
- CEN/TC 156 - Ventilation for buildings (including air conditioning).
Note: certain products are dealt with in other Committees, like CEN/TC 195 for air filtration. Standards for fans are prepared under ISO/TC 117, but adopted as European Standards (EN ISO) by CEN/TC 156.
- CEN/TC 169 – Light and lighting systems.
- CEN/TC 228 - Heating systems and water based cooling systems for buildings (including domestic hot water systems).
Note: CEN/TC 228 deals with heating systems only – standards for products are prepared in other committees, for example CEN/TC 57 (boilers) and CEN/TC 130 (radiators).
ISO Technical Committees
Other important committees (product level) – non-exhaustive list
- CEN/TC 92 Water meters
- CEN/TC 110 Heat exchangers
- CEN/TC 113 Heat pumps and air conditioning units
- ISO/TC 117 Fans
Other important committees (related issues) – non-exhaustive list
- CEN/TC 127 Fire safety in buildings
- CEN/TC 164 Water supply
- CEN/TC 165 Waste water engineering
- CEN/TC 350 Sustainability
- CEN/TC 351 Regulated substances