Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

EPBD: How will Ireland compare?
As the January 2006 deadline for implementation of the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings draws ever nearer, the Irish Government has spelt out its plans to delay the across the board introduction of building energy ratings until 2009. But how does this compare to other EU Member States’ efforts, such as Denmark , Portugal , England & Wales , and Germany ? Jeff Colley spoke to Professor Eduardo Maldonado, General Manager of the Energy Agency of Portugal, Jens Laustsen of the Danish Energy Authority, Paul Davidson, Director of the Sustainable Energy Centre at BRE, Watford , Horst-P. Schettler-Köhler, Head of the “Building Technology, Sustainable Construction, Energy Conservation” division at the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, Germany, and Paula Rice, Programme Manager at Sustainable Energy Ireland, to find out.
When will your country be introducing energy certification for buildings at point of sale or rental?

DENMARK
For certification of buildings it will be from 1st of January 2006. For the certification of flats by rental or sale we will base this on a certification of the whole buildings with flats. The certification of buildings with flats will start in 2006. To avoid the peak or bottleneck problem the claim to present a certificate for a flat by rental or sale will only become mandatory from 1st of January 2007.



PORTUGAL
The date is not yet fixed. It will depend on a technical issue: when we will have enough trained experts. At the limit, it may be up to 3 years.



ENGLAND & WALES
Unfortunately that’s the sort of question where we're waiting for a statement from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). It’s due this month. The indications are that it’s likely to be early next year. The original plan was that it would be in January, though not necessarily for all buildings.

Which way it will go is anybody's guess.

There is a school of thought is that it should be big buildings that have the biggest carbon consequence first. The downside is that this is more complicated certification and therefore it might take longer. The answer is we don't know yet. There is a commitment there, we hope, to comply.



GERMANY
Since February 2002 we have an existing regulation, the “Energy-saving Ordinance” (“Energieeinsparverordnung”), that complies with the major parts of the EPBD. There is a method for calculation of the performance, which is compulsory for every new heated building and a necessary proof to gain a building permit. In this course also an energy certificate has to be issued by the planning architect or engineer and handed over to the owner of the building as well as – in many cases – to the authorities. We also have requirements in cases of refurbishment or enlargement of heated space, and this applies to all heated buildings without size-limit and even for quite small measures. So only in a few points is there the need for amendment of the existing legal regulations – but these are severe, because covering the aspects “build-in lighting” and “air conditioning” (because of additional provisions only relevant for non-residential buildings) means setting-up of a complete new method for non-residential buildings. Recently, the German parliament adopted an amendment of our “Energy-saving Act” (“Energieeinsparungsgesetz”), so that the Government is now able to make energy certificates compulsory for the building stock in cases of sale or rental.



IRELAND
Please see dates currently proposed in the Draft Action Plan to implement the EPBD, as published on 27 April 2005 , for public/ industry comment by 29 July 2005 .

The draft envisages the introduction of Building Energy Rating (BER) for new dwellings from 1 January 2007 , for other new buildings from 1 January 2008 and for existing dwellings and other existing buildings, when offered for sale or rental, with effect from I January 2009.



Is your country applying for an extension of up to 3 years to bring in energy certification for new buildings? If not, why not?



DENMARK
No. Certification of new buildings will start from 2006.

A new building regulation with a strengthening of energy requirements to around 75 % of the existing level will be introduced from January 1 st 2006 , and we will use the labelling of buildings (certification) to enforce this building regulation. So all buildings which get a building permit based on this new regulation much have a certification done by an independent consultant before the building can be used. By this inspection there will be an inspection to ensure that the building is actually fulfilling the requirements.

At the same time we are introducing new low energy classes on 75% and 50% of the new requirements. The consultants will also be used to ensure that low energy buildings are built up to those standards.

The only delay for us is that we want to give industry and builders time to adjust to new rules, so for the time until 1st of April 2006, existing building regulation can still be used. And in this case the inspection of new buildings is more simple.


PORTUGAL
Every new building asking for a building permit after the end of 2005 will have to obey the new regulations (with new minimum energy performance requirements) and be issued an energy certificate. No extension will be sought for this EPBD requirement.

Professor Eduardo Maldonado, General Manager of the Energy Agency of Portugal
Professor Eduardo Maldonado, General Manager of the Energy Agency of Portugal


ENGLAND & WALES
New buildings will be subject to Building Regulations. That’s most likely to be implemented from the beginning of January. Existing buildings is the area where some will be covered. The standard Building Regulations rules will apply, it’s only plans that are submitted from January.


GERMANY
Not in general. Of course also in Germany there is a need for enough time for the public to adopt the new regulations and to learn the use of new technical standards and software. That’s why even in sectors where in the long term view the total number of experts is sufficient, there will probably have to be a transition period to learn the handling of software and new methods. That does not only apply to non-residential buildings, where (as mentioned above) a new technical standard (DIN V 18599, issued in July 2005, see below) has to be applied, but also to existing residential buildings, where the whole regulations about simplified data assessment are new. Up till now the method has only been applied to new buildings.


IRELAND
Please see answer to Question 1 re proposed implementation timetable.

Most of the 25 EU Member States will be availing of the time extension permitted under Article 15(2) of the EPBD.



Have you determined what types of people will carry out the certification?


DENMARK
Certification of buildings will be done by independent consultants. These "Energy Consultants" will have to be architects or engineers for small and residential buildings and engineers for large and complex buildings. On top of this they have to have substantial experience with buildings and /or energy consumption and to pass training and a test to become consultants.


PORTUGAL
All architects and engineers with adequate qualifications will be allowed to carry out certification. To expand on this, not all engineers will be qualified (for example, chemical engineers are in general not qualified), and only engineers with an energy systems background will be allowed to certify buildings with complex HVAC systems. For simpler buildings, such as residential units, qualification requirements are less demanding.



ENGLAND & WALES
We had a working party set up that in fact David Strong (MD of BRE Environment) chaired on behalf of the OPDM, which was looking at the process and making recommendations to the OPDM about who should do the certification and when, and what training they would need.

We are waiting for definite feedback on that, but our proposal was that initially although the long term proposal might involve a whole training scheme that anyone could apply for—which would therefore take longer and you would have a proper qualification at the end of it—in the short term that won't work. So the likelihood is that people who are already in the field of energy consultancy, building surveyors, building services engineers and possibly architects would have a head-start and many of them would only need training in a particular method in order to do this.

There’s a different position for households which I am less familiar with. There is a home information pack proposal which is already in legislative process which comes into effect the year after. That includes an energy rating which would be carried out by home inspectors, and there is already a training process set up. The people who are already surveyors would have a head-start because they have already had to report on some of the issues.



GERMANY
This is not yet decided finally. There seems to be no question that the people who are allowed to issue certificates for new buildings (approved architects and engineers – and in some regions for small residential buildings some master craftsmen) will also be involved in the certification of the building stock. Furthermore, craftsmen with an additional education (“Geprüfter Gebäudeenergieberater im Handwerk”) are considered for this job as far as residential buildings are concerned. The situation with non-residential buildings seems a little bit more serious, because the applied calculation method needs a lot of engineering skills.


IRELAND
A final decision cannot be made until the methodologies have been agreed.

However, it is anticipated that building energy rating assessors will be drawn from existing building professionals (for example architects, engineers, surveyors, building services technicians) undergoing specialised Continuing Professional Development (CPD), rather than from the creation of a new profession solely dealing with building energy rating.



Have you decided on a methodology/methodologies for calculating energy performance for buildings to comply with the directive?


DENMARK
Yes we have developed our own calculation methods based on CEN and proposed CEN standards. For all types of buildings certification will be based on an inspection of the building and registration of constructions, heating systems and other installations. And the energy consumption and possible savings will be calculated based on these.

Jens Laustsen of the Danish Energy Authority
Jens Laustsen of the Danish Energy Authority

PORTUGAL
Yes, the new calculation model, in full compliance with the new set of CEN standards now in enquiry phase, including heating and cooling needs calculations, has been completed and will be part of the new regulations.


ENGLAND & WALES
The answer to that is yes. For dwellings up to a certain size we will have a new version of the methodology we have had in place for some time, called SAP. SAP 2005 will be ready in time. It’s basically the same well-tried tool.

For larger buildings there are two options. You will either use the national calculation methodology, which is a tool that we (the BRE) have developed in a rather short time, which is called SBEM. That’s available for download as a beta test version on our website. It’s based on a Dutch calculation method and is intended to be used for the majority of “ordinary” buildings; a full range of buildings but it won't cope with any that are designed to be clever in the sense of passive design—the likes of interactive facades or night cooling—that require careful modelling. At the moment it won't cope very well with mix-mode building. That’s the standard and that will be made freely available to anybody.

The other option is that there will be a method of accrediting approved simulation packages; commercially available packages.



GERMANY
Actually we have three methods in Germany .

One (the German transposition of EN 832 by DIN V 4108-6 and DIN V 4701-10) is currently applied for all new buildings and will be kept for the future only for residential buildings. There are some additions needed to cover existing buildings (mainly simplifications and additional data bases for out-of-date appliances), but these additions are ready for publishing.

The second method is a quite sophisticated method to also cover lighting and air-conditioning (which in Germany are nearly prohibited in residential buildings). This method will be applied in future to all non-residential buildings covered by the directive. The standards (Series DIN V 18599) are being issued at the moment (July 2005). Whilst they are brand-new, experts first will have to learn their application.



The third method is based on consumption; it mainly consists of a method to eliminate the influence of the weather. It is under certain circumstances applicable to large apartment buildings. The discussion at the moment is about possible ways for implementation of this method (preferred by housing companies), because its results are not compatible to those of the other methods and it normally does not provide sufficient recommendations for the cost-effective improvement of the building’s energy performance.

Furthermore, there is a discussion about consumption-based methods also for those non-residential buildings with widespread kinds of use (such as schools), for which validated benchmarks are available. It has not yet been decided whether this can be permanently allowed and under which conditions.


IRELAND
Not as yet. SEI has commissioned a study on the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) used in the UK for the energy rating of residential buildings. If considered to be suitable, SAP will be adapted for use as the energy-rating tool for Irish homes.

Most EU Member States, including Ireland , will take some time to develop a methodology for Non-Domestic Buildings, because of the range and complexity of the buildings involved.

Paula Rice Programme Manager at Sustainable Energy Ireland
Paula Rice Programme Manager at Sustainable Energy Ireland


How many homes do you expect to be sold in your country next year (and therefore how many certificates will have to be issued for new and existing homes at point of sale?)



DENMARK
We expect a need for 80,000 energy labels based on sale and rental of buildings next year.  But in some cases the certification must be made regularly every 5 years, so we estimate the need for certification to be close to 100,000 per year.


PORTUGAL
Statistics show an average of 300,000 sales per year. New units should be around 70,000. Next year, no new building will receive a final certificate, because construction will take more than one year after the initial request for a building permit. We expect the first certificates for new buildings affected by the EPBD to appear in 2007. But certification will start making its impact in 2006, because new requests for building permits must show compliance with the new regulations - a provisional certificate is then prepared, prior to issuing the construction permit. This certificate then becomes final at the end of construction (1 to 2 years later, normally).


ENGLAND & WALES
In theory, all the new homes will have to have one. The existing ones, it’s going to depend on the phasing in of the requirements. I'm not quite sure when that’s likely to be yet.

It’s the same process for calculating the asset rating as demonstrating compliance with the minimum standards which in our case are implemented through building regulations. All new buildings and refurbished buildings are subjected to building regulations and have to get an asset rating, therefore the rating is then available for sale or lease.


GERMANY
Our adviser, Bremer Energieinstitut, has calculated the amounts of certificates in Germany as given below:



Click image to view





IRELAND
(Ed.- The SEI Draft Action Plan refers to the need to develop a database capable of handling in excess of 150,000 BERs per annum, a figure which is close to estimates of new and existing house sales per annum). Ulster Bank’s chief economist Pat McArdle predicted in July that 2005’s new house build figures would top last year’s total of 77,000. It is widely anticipated that figures of circa 70,000 per year should be achieved over the next few years



What is the latest date that people will typically be able to build without attention to the directive? If a consumer is granted planning permission before the directive comes into effect, and the building is completed and sold or rented after January 2006, will the building need to be certified?


DENMARK
The law passed parliament in unanimity, but some of the final ruses are being made by our Minister and we haven't written the final executive order for the implementation yet. We expect that there will be a claim for certification of all new buildings by sale or rental after January 1 st 2006 .

The more strict rules saying that you can't use the building will depend on the date when you get the permit to build. In this case the last houses can get a permit for construction on the March 31st 2006 . The building process can take as long as it takes. But still this building must apply with certification at the time of sale or rental.


PORTUGAL
Every building permit requested after the entry into force of the new regulations (late in 2005, probably late November, early December 2005 - the date is not yet fixed because it depends on the date of publication in the official journal, and this cannot be fully controlled) will be required to comply with the new regulations, with no exceptions. However, any permit requested one single day before that date is only forced to compliance with present regulations, even if construction takes place in 2006 or 2007... or later!


ENGLAND & WALES
Well, apart from the Building Regulations which will be in theory in January, we don't know that answer.


Paul Davidson, Director of the Sustainable Energy Centre at BRE, Watford
Paul Davidson, Director of the Sustainable Energy Centre at BRE, Watford

GERMANY
For the construction of new residential buildings there will be nearly no changes when the directive is implemented in Germany . Energy certificates have been mandatory for new buildings since February 2002. They will change in design (becoming more popular and colourful, with more understandable wording), but certificates issued under the “old” regulation will be valid for 10 years from date of issue. The changes for non-residential buildings will come into force within an appropriate transition period – a few months after the regulations are issued.


IRELAND
The phasing of the introduction of the various aspects of the EPBD, over the period January 1 st 2006 to January 1 st 2009 , is set out in the Draft Action Plan.

It is envisaged that those aspects involving changes to Part L of the Building Regulations on January 1 st 2006 and January 1 st 2008 will be subject to the normal transition arrangements that apply to changes to the Building Regulations.

It is also envisaged that BER will be phased in, having regard to the Building Regulation transition arrangements in place for the relevant building types. Accordingly, BER will apply to newly constructed dwellings with effect from January 1 st 2007, other than new dwellings for which planning permission is applied for on or before December 31 st 2005 and which are substantially complete by December 31 st 2008. BER will apply to new Non-Domestic Buildings with effect from January 1 st 2009, other than new Non Domestic Buildings for which planning permission is applied for on or before December 31 st 2007 and which are substantially complete by December 31 st 2010.



Do you plan to go beyond the minimum requirements of the directive in any area, such as regarding which sizes of buildings must be certified and so on?


DENMARK
Yes, in quite a lot of areas.

We are introducing, for instance, regular inspection of all public buildings every 5 years, including inspection and advising, irrespective of the size of the building. All identified savings with payback time less than 5 years must be carried out.

All other buildings larger than 1,000m2 will have to have regularly inspections too, which includes buildings used for residential accommodation, trade and services or for administration.

In apartment buildings we are introducing certification of the building including certification information for the apartments too, by sale or rental of each flat.

We will only exempt buildings for manufacturing or buildings with less than 50 m² gross area from the certification by sale or rental.


PORTUGAL
Yes, Portugal is going beyond many of the requirements of the EPBD. For instance, for non-residential buildings, certain types that are large consumers (such as supermarkets, shopping centres, heated swimming pools, and so on) will be required to be certified above 500 m2, not 1000 m2. Non-residential buildings with an operational rating above a certain threshold will be required to prepare an energy plan and then implement it over 3 years, if the identified measures are cost effective.

Certification will include energy and indoor air quality aspects, including proper maintenance requirements.

Our definition of public buildings includes all buildings frequented by the public, including hotels, banks, markets, shops, and so on—not just those owned or used by the Government and other public authorities.


ENGLAND & WALES
Not at the moment. There are various discussions but nothing is planned.


GERMANY
Because of the ongoing national and international standardisation a further amendment of the German regulation will be delayed until 2010. All parties have agreed to implement the directive 1:1 on the first approach, leave all the regulations in force that go further than the directive, but refraining from strengthening the requirements to avoid lengthy discussions about this topic.

Horst-P. Schettler-Köhler

Horst-P. Schettler-Köhler
, Head of the “Building Technology, Sustainable Construction, Energy Conservation” division at the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, Germany


IRELAND
Currently, there are no plans to go beyond the specific requirements of the EPBD. In common with other EU Member States, it is clear that meeting Ireland ’s basic obligations under the EPBD will be a formidable challenge in itself.

Successful implementation will demand that systems are in place to ensure day to day delivery of the assessment and inspection services by trained and qualified people in a manner which is practical, consistent, cost-efficient, and with acceptable response times that maintain levels of service in the construction and property markets.




What measures has your country taken to ensure that buyers receive energy certificates when buying a building?

DENMARK
Energy Labelling is mandatory at point of sale but there is no penalty for non-compliance. However a buyer can claim the energy certificate after the sale if it is not given beforehand, and the seller must pay for this certificate no matter what they agreed before the sale of the property.

Real estate agents or other people selling homes or other buildings must tell about the certifications before the transaction, including information on obligations, that it is mandatory and the possibility for the buyer to come back with a claim after the trade. Agents can be fined or even lose the possibility of selling property if they do not fulfil those rules.

Finally we want to make campaigns for people involved in sale and rental of buildings and apartments on the certification of buildings, including the financial sector, industry, layers, installers and so on.

PORTUGAL
The certificate will be part of the mandatory list of documents that must be provided for registration of the sale (together with tax forms, property registration, building survey, and so on).

ENGLAND & WALES
The intention is that it’s part of the legal transaction so solicitors and lawyers completing a sale or lease will be required as part of their processes to ensure that there is a certificate in place and that it’s less than 10 years old. They don't have to say anything about the quality of it but do have to check that it’s there.

GERMANY
That has to be done by market forces. Because purchasing of houses involves a notary, it is certain that both parties will be informed about their duties.

IRELAND
The proposed Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2005 will make it mandatory for BER to be produced for newly constructed buildings; and for existing buildings (when existing buildings are offered for sale or letting).



What, in your opinion, has been the motivation behind your country going (commendably) beyond the requirements of the Directive in some areas?

DENMARK
We expect the new certification schemes to be of benefit for the owners and users of the buildings, since they can save more than the costs by the certifications and the actual savings.

We expect that the regulations can help Denmark to fulfil international requirements to save energy.   We expect the regulations to give employment for installers.   We do have existing schemes that to a large extent go further than the directive.   A national action plan has been approved to enforce the energy savings than can be identified by the certification and the other initiatives. This will involve cooperation with industry, supply companies, installers and other actors.

PORTUGAL
The Portuguese Energy Policy calls for a reduction of energy consumption in the building sector. It is increasing at 4% per year in the residential sector and at 7% per year in the non-residential sector. The objective is to improve the efficiency of the overall energy sector.




Do you think  Kyoto and the desire to curb emissions has been a factor in how your country is handling the Directive?


DENMARK
Yes.


GERMANY
We have had a climate-protection policy in Germany since 1991. So there is really no discussion between the parties about energy saving regulations, which proved to be an efficient way to avoid CO 2 emissions. Opinions only differ in the extent of the requirements.


ENGLAND & WALES
The UK has a climate change program, the Labour government had a commitment to reduce carbon emissions, and this is a way of achieving that in buildings. I think it’s inline with government policy anyway.



Was it considered that placing lengthy delays and implementing a weak interpretation of the directive could damage your country’s economy, in terms of stifling innovation, missing an opportunity to help curb emissions, and leaving businesses and people with expensive to run, devalued buildings?


PORTUGAL
Yes, the measures that are being implemented, together with increasing renewable electricity production to 39% and a strong promotion of solar water heating (it is becoming mandatory for new buildings with adequate solar exposure after 2006), should keep our greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector level. This is an important part of the approved plan for compliance with Kyoto commitments at the national level.


DENMARK
Companies in industry have indicated that a high fulfilment of the directive and full implementation in 2006 would be an advantage also in an export market.


GERMANY
The only serious questions were uttered by housing companies. Parts of those fear the effects of energy certificates.


ENGLAND & WALES
It certainly would miss the opportunity to clear the emissions from those buildings that are not certified in between times. One of the reasons why the Government wants to get on and implement as fast as it can practically is that it sends out a signal that this is important, and the sooner it gets implemented at all, the higher up the agenda it moves, and therefore the more effect it might have in curbing emissions.

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