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Investigations concerning the amendment of the European Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD recast)

BMVBS-Online-Publikation 16/12, Ed.: BMVBS, October 2012

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, Stuttgart - Holzkirchen - Kassel
Hans Erhorn (project leader), Heike Erhorn-Kluttig
Ingenieurbüro Hauser, Kassel
Prof. Dr. Anton Maas
schiller engineering, Hamburg
Heiko Schiller
Institute for Building Systems Engineering Research and Application, Dresden
Prof. Dr. Bert Oschatz, Matthias Ußner, Bettina Mailach
Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Berlin
André Hempel

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Bonn
Sara Kunkel


The European Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD recast) stipulates in Article 9 that Member States shall ensure by 2021 that all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings. In the study at hand investigations concerning the practical implementation of the requirement have been made.

The market analysis of step 1 shows that the building activity in Germany is considerably more energy efficient in average than required by the legal specifications in the energy saving ordinance (EnEV). More than 50% of the new buildings have an energy performance of at least 30% better than requested in the EnEV, more than 10% result in an energy performance that is at least 45% better.

In a structured interview representatives of market players have been questioned regarding barriers against the further improvement of the energy efficiency of new buildings. The answers of the queried building owner representatives and of the queried manufacturers tended to be very similar. As main barrier the higher costs for energy efficient buildings have been mentioned, followed by lack of information on the real performance and the economic feasibility of such buildings. Technological barriers have been assessed as rather marginal. The interviewees regarded the planning reliability of developments as very important, too. The market wants to be able to assess the requirement level of nearly zero-energy buildings as early as possible.

In step 2 it was analysed whether nearly zero-energy buildings can be comprehensively evaluated using the current approaches of the EnEV or if an adaptation of the method seems to be essential and reasonable. Already known approaches of other European countries have been compared. The analysis shows that the EnEV method is generally suited to assess also nearly zero-energy buildings. However it is recommended to enlarge the very restrictively defined balancing room of Paragraph 5 of the EnEV in order to include not only the electricity generated by renewables but also other renewable energies generated on-site.

Step 2 showed as well, that based on the continuous implementation of innovations in the building sector during the last 30 years, a constant reduction of the energy demand of buildings under the economical boundary conditions of the market took place. Making the legitimate assumption that this trend will continue for the next years, it can be derived that new buildings in 2020 will have an energy performance of 50% better than the performance of current buildings. This corresponds in the residential sector to a KfW Efficiency House 40 level. The study consortium therefore advises to communicate this level as target for the nearly zero-energy buildings so that the market development can refer to it.

Instruments to reduce the gathered market barriers have been collected and assessed in final step 3. The suggestions of the consortium follow the principle of the German government "requirements, promotion, information".

The abstract is part of the German publication "Untersuchung zur Novellierung der EU-Gebäudeenergieeffizienzrichtlinie (EPBD)" - BMVBS-Online-Publikation 16/12, Hrsg.: BMVBS, October 2012, Berlin