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06|12|2016

EuroWindoor response to EU winter package: “Do not forget buildings are for people to live in”

EuroWindoor welcomes the winter package of the European Commission, but fears a sole energy efficiency focus on buildings leaving out key aspects supporting healthy and comfortable living

The cheapest and cleanest energy is, no matter what, that unused and EuroWindoor welcome the Commission’s Energy Efficiency First agenda which has been reinforced by the introduction of the Winter package – with e.g. the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). EuroWindoor fully support the proposal from the EU Commission of a binding 30 % energy efficiency target in 2030 instead of today’s non-binding target of 27 percent.

EuroWindoor is a strong supporter of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Buildings account for about 40 % of the total energy consumption in Europe and EuroWindoor therefore favours constructive improvements that will strengthen the EPBD’s contribution to the EU’s energy and climate goals.

With the revised EPBD and the implementation of the existing EPBD EuroWindoor however see a clear missing link. People spend up to 90% of their time in buildings but many existing European buildings suffer from poor daylight and indoor climate with adverse effect on health, learning abilities and productivity.

“The revised EPBD has included stronger focus on health aspects, and the importance of having a holistic approach to buildings, but it can still be further elaborated and key is the implementation in Member States legislation”, says President Joachim Oberrauch. “Increasing energy efficiency in buildings can go hand in hand with good daylight conditions and a healthy indoor environment, but only if proper attention is paid to this when setting requirements. At the moment daylight and indoor climate aspects are not very much highlighted in the EPBD and hence implemented very weakly in most Member States in national building legislations, and it is not very well integrated in the national compliance tools for energy performance evaluation.”

When it comes to un-tapping the potential of buildings and windows EuroWindoor see another missing link, as the EPBD fails to emphasize the importance of windows not only preventing heat loss, but also being providers of energy gains through the windows. Currently, Member States are regulating windows mainly by tightening the U-values (heat loss parameter), thus pushing towards more layers of glazing. However, when the effect of solar gain is left out, the real performance of a window is not reflected and this is not in line with the objectives of sustainable development or giving the right assessment of a window’s real contribution to the performance of a building envelope.

Read more about EuroWindoor’s position on the revision of EPBD here

[more information about EPBD in the section " Energy Performance of Buildings of the activity "Energy efficiency”]

06|12|2016

Picture 1: Energy balance

Picture 2: EuroWindoor Infographic on Energy balance based window replacement requirements in EU Member State