Energy performance of buildings Directive 2022- Opening up the potential of windows

The proposal for a recast of EPBD is a unique opportunity to optimise the energy performance of buildings. The window stakeholders  ARGE, European Aluminium, EPPA, ES-SO, Eurowindoor and Glass for Europe published a joint position paper with the following key messages to the policy makers: 

1. Supporting window replacement to accelerate the Renovation Wave in line with the "Energy Efficiency First" principle. 

2. Using the "Energy Balance " approach to assess the energy performance of windows. 

3. Defining and securing "Healthy Indoor Climate".  

In particular, specific guidance from the European Commission to member States should be given to phase out inefficient windows in line with the Energy Efficiency First principle.

Specific replacement requirements for windows considering also shading should be set up in national renovation plans. 

Window stakeholders recommend that the energy balance should be used to set up minimum energy performance requirements for building elements that form part of the building envelope when they are replaced or retrofitted.  As for the energy performance for transparent components of the building envelope not only the insulation properties but also the heat gains of windows and the effect of solar shading, ventilative cooling and air permeability need to be considered.   Furthermore, to secure a better liveability of buildings (new and renovated) there is need for a definition of healthy indoor climate based on daylight, indoor air quality, overheating mitigation and acoustics. 

Read the Joint Paper here.   


The energy balance of a window

is the balance between the heat gains (g-value) and the heat losses (U-value) of a window, using

  • Shading as a minimum requirement to prevent overheating on southern-, eastern- and western-oriented window façades
  • Dynamic shading on glazing achieving a minimum total g-value of 0.15 to reject heat effectively from windows while still being able to make use of the free energy gains from the sun during the heating season
  • Dynamic shading with natural ventilation (night cooling by opening of windows)

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