How to insulate according to the EPBD



The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, or EPBD for short, was created on December 16, 2002 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. According to the EPDB, every building within the European Union must meet strict energy requirements. More precisely, all new buildings must be nearly zero-energy by 2021.

What does the EPBD entail exactly?

The EPBD aims to encourage the construction industry to consider various aspects such as climatic and local conditions. This entails a number of building obligations. Among other factors, the following requirements apply:

  • Energy performance certification of buildings is now mandatory.
  • New constructions must meet a series of minimum requirements, especially in terms of insulation.

When insulating a new building, you have to comply with the principles for nearly-zero energy buildings (NZEBs). From 2021, this will become the standard for new-build homes throughout Europe.

The specific insulation requirements depend on the purpose of the building

New nearly-zero energy homes

Nearly-zero energy homes must have an E-level lower than or equal to E30. This directive applies to new-build homes or converted homes with a permit application from 2014 onwards.

As far as thermal insulation is concerned, an NZE home’s structural components must meet the following Umax requirements:

  • roofs and ceilings: 0.24 W/m²K
  • external walls: 0.24 W/m²K
  • floors: 0.24 W/m²K
  • windows (window profile and glazing): 1.50 W/m²K
  • glazing: 1.10 W/m²K
  • doors and gates: 2.00 W/m²K

New nearly-zero energy offices and school buildings

For new offices and school buildings (read: buildings with a permit application dated between 2014 and  January 1, 2017), the E-level must be lower than or equal to E40.

In terms of thermal insulation, the structural components of a nearly zero-energy office or school building must meet the same requirements as NZE homes.

New non-residential NZEBs 

This category includes hospitals, hotels, bars and restaurants, schools and offices with a permit application from January 1, 2017 onwards. The E-level required of these buildings depends on their composition. Check with your government to see which requirements are in force. Different directives may apply to agricultural buildings and protected buildings.

Which other insulation requirements apply?

In addition to the EPBD, most governments emphasize the importance of airtight installation when applying thermal insulation. When it comes to construction nodes, for example, sufficient attention must be paid to a decent seal. Using suitable tapes, sealants and accessories is indispensable. In addition, the insulation material applied must be moisture-proof. After all, wet insulation material loses its insulation value.

Do you have any questions about current insulation standards? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our insulation specialists are always happy to help.