EU Guidelines to transpose EPBD review 2018

03 September 2019


The EPBD review 2018 needs to be transposed by Member States (MS) before 10 March 2020. 

The EU Commission made two guidelines to support MS in their transposition:

Building Renovation, May 8th 2019, see publication

Building modernization, June 9th 2019, see publication

What are the main points and what does it mean for shading?  


The main objective of the Directive is to increase renovation rates for buildings in the EU, including major renovations towards zero carbon & zero energy buildings by 2050.

How? MS have to define Long Term Renovation Strategies (SRLT) with intermediate targets to put in place  by 2030/40/50.

I. Important is that MS have to estimate energy savings and the wider benefits, among which:

• Promotion of " higher levels of comfort and well-being for the occupants"
• Promotion of “proper installation and adaptation of building technical systems" (including heating and air conditioning, ventilation, automation and building control) 
• "Lowering health and illness costs, increasing labor productivity through better living and working conditions"
• "Measures to adapt buildings to climate change, such as shading devices that prevent buildings from overheating during heat waves, systems that have a direct impact on the energy consumption of buildings by limiting the need for active cooling. "

->  the benefits of solar shading solutions have been explicitly recognised by the European Commission to combat overheating due to climate change. Moreover, solar shading to use by priority and so to limit  active cooling energy. 

 II - The calculation method of the energy performance of buildings is clarified and must take into account (in particular) current energy consumption, i.e. the energy used for:

• The traditional uses (heating, cooling, hot water production, ventilation, integrated lighting)
• and other building technical systems  which now integrates building automation and control (BACS).

The Commission recalls that the positive influence of local solar exposure, electricity generated by cogeneration, district heating and cooling systems and energy efficiency must be taken into account and of natural lighting. MS are encouraged to verify that these elements are properly considered in their regulations.


The Directive gives a greater impact  to building automation and control systems: i.e. "a system comprising all products, software and engineering services capable of supporting the operation of energy efficient, economical and safe from building automation systems by means of automatic controls and by facilitating the manual management of such building technical systems"  (art 2 EPBD), therefore: 

• Inspection changes with an increased role for building automation and control systems and electronic monitoring and control systems.

• Installing effective electronic tracking and control features in residential buildings can provide significant energy savings, improve indoor environmental management, and benefit building owners and users. This is particularly the case for large buildings,  but MS may decide to impose these systems in residential buildings.

The EU Commission also reminds to Member States (MS):

i. The “central role of the building envelope” (recital 8 & 20)
ii. “the EPBD requires MS  to ensure that the optimal energy performance of the building envelope is pursued in applying primary energy and weighted factors. Reducing the overall energy demand is a crucial component when optimising the energy performance of a building. In this context, the consideration of the envelope should not be underestimated (...)” (articles 4.1, 4.3.3, 6.3).

iii. The consideration of building envelope elements and their influence on the energy performance of buildings also depends on the calculation methodologies applied. For instance, the ‘energy balance’ approach, which takes into account both energy losses (related to heat loss) as well as energy gains (from passive capture of solar irradiance on buildings and building elements) when calculating the energy performance of a building or a building element of the building envelope, is an approach used in some Member States to take into account solar conditions (in relation to Annex I, point 4 of the EPBD).

 -> Dynamic solar shading on windows reduces  the solar energy gains  in summer and letting in the energy gains from passive capture  of solar irradiance in winter - see ES-SO position paper "Implementing the amended EPBD needs a proper assessment of windows"




Daylight in buildings

13 February 2019

Daylight in buildings plays a key role in providing a good visual, biologically effective and energetic efficient lighting of indoor spaces.

Attached position paper is looking deeper into the subject. Reference is made to the upcoming EN 17037 Standard on “Daylight of Buildings.”
For the solar shading  business daylight management is equally important to present a balanced choice of thermal and visual comfort to the building users.

In the paper actions are formulated for the different stakeholders. 

More in particular interesting is the claim to recognize daylight as renewable energy source.

Read the paper



ES-SDA European Solar Shading Database

16 October 2017

Dynamic Shading is an important component in the design of energy-efficient buildings. Shading is included in the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and is now a requirement in National Building Codes. For effective implementation, achieving fully the benefits of shading, it’s essential that architects and engineers have ongoing access to reliable, robust data when preparing specifications and performance-calculations.

To support this need ES-SO has taken the initiative to create a new European Solar Shading Products Properties Database, ES-SDA.

Its aim is to provide a reference list of independently verified and validated solar shading materials, to ensure correct specification and application in all types of buildings.

Since 2017 ES-SDA is fully operative  and companies completing successfully the peer review procedure have published their data.



 es sda final

Studies on overheating in buildings

10 October 2017

Since the EPBD recast 2010 and more in particular in Northern, Western and Eastern countries studies are being published on overheating in recently constructed buildings.

The reason of the increasing overheating risk is not only climate change but is also an unexpected consequence of more insulated and air-tight buildings.

See the overview national reports and presentations:

A debate in UK Parliament on the increasing risk of overheating in new and existing buildings and ways to manage this, see the debate 

A case study on impact shading with night time ventilation on overheating in residential property, London South Bank University and BBSA, read paper and additional study on The Challenge of Modelling Solar Shading Products and Their Impact on the Built Environment, 2016-2018, read paper ; read also the PPT  and  introduction 

Increasing risk over time of weather related hazards to the European population, The Lancet, Vol1. August 2017, read more

North-south polarization of European electricity consumption under future warming, Wenz et al., PNAS Early edition, 2017, read more

The impact of the climate change on  the overheating risk in dwellings, a Dutch case study,  February 2017, read more

BRE Test Report Scotland Vistor Centre -Operational Performance Assessment, Window Blind Case Study, January 2017, read more

Overheating in retrofitted flats: occupants practices, learning and interventions,U.K., October 2016, read more

Overheating in homes: drivers of change, Zero Carbon Hub, 2016, read more 

Overheating in homes, an introduction for designers, planners and property owners, U.K.Dept for Environment, Food, Rural Affairs,  Zero Carbon Hub NHBC House, read more

Building Overheating and Health in the U.K.- New homes and health, Angie Bone and Kevin Lomas, 24/25 November 2016

Indoor and Built Environment, 2016, Energy performance of buildings in Poland on the basis of different climatic data, read mor

 Guidance on preventing overheating in the home, ARCC,  Dept Energy and Climate Change, U.K. 2015, read more 

Talinn University of Technology at Qualicheck presentation Conference 4 September 2015: measurements on overheating in new appartments Estonia, read more

ES-SO study: "high performance dynamic shading solutions for energy efficiency and comfort in buildings", executive summary 2015 Sonnergy Ltd, read more 

On the predicted effectiveness of climate adaptation measures for residential buildings by Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2014, read more 

Pilot effect klimaatveranderingen op energiebesparingen en besparingsconcepten bij woningen, 2012, TU Delft, Nederland, read more on

Overheating in new homes, a review of the evidence” by NHBC Foundation U.K., 2012, read more

The Comfort Houses - Measurements and analysis of the indoor environment and energy consumption in 8 passive houses 2008-2011” and recent investigations by Aalborg university Denmark: NZEB have an increased need for cooling to combat overheating, even in low seasons, due to high insulation and airtightness, read more 

See also related International studies:

Indoor Air Quality, thermal comfort and daylight, analysis of residential building regulations in 8 of EU member states, BPIE, 2015, read more 

The Technology Roadmap: Energy Efficient Building Envelopes, a publication of the International Energy Agency, 2013, download here 

The impact of climate change on thermal comfort, heating and cooling energy demand in Europe, ECEEE 2007 Summer study- saving energy, read more


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