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The CENSE project

The aim of the CENSE project (2007-2010) is to support the EU Member States (MS) and other target groups in achieving better awareness and more effective use of the European (CEN) standards that are related to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The main activities in the project are to provide guidance on the standards, to collect comments and examples of good practice, so as to remove obstacles to implementation and to prepare recommendations to CEN.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD)

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is set to promote the improvement of energy performance of buildings, with the following requirements to be implemented by the Member States: a general calculation framework on the energy performance of buildings, the application of minimum energy performance requirements for certain categories of buildings, energy performance certification of buildings, and inspection of certain technical systems in buildings.

Mandate to CEN for European standards to support the EPBD

The European Commission gave a Mandate to CEN to develop a calculation methodology for the integrated energy performance of buildings in accordance with the terms set forth in the EPBD. These European standards aim to increase the accessibility, transparency and objectivity of energy performance assessment in the Member States.

Status and role of the CEN standards

Building regulation is an area where the EU Member States claim their national privilege to formulate the national legislation. This is in accordance with the subsidiarity principle in the EPBD.

Regional differences in climate, building tradition, legal settings, quality assurance and user behaviour in Europe will have impact on the input data, the calculation procedures and consequently on the energy performance.

The role of the EPBD-CEN standards is to provide a common European concept and common methods for preparing energy performance certification and energy inspections of buildings. On the long term, increased harmonisation of the methods will be attractive for all Member States. 

The development of CEN standards may also lead to CEN-ISO standards. The ISO standards are widely accepted and may even increase the market opportunities of the European industry.

Main scheme of the CEN standards 

We are preparing a scheme showing the relation between the CEN standards and the link to the Information Papers and presentations.

A set of CEN standards were recently developed to support this process. These standards cover a wide range of topics, for instance:

  • Ways to express the energy performance and the energy certification of buildings.
  • Procedures to calculate the overall energy use (primary energy, CO2, ..).
  • Definitions of energy rating.
  • Calculation of energy needs for heating and cooling.
  • Calculation of energy use for heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water and lighting systems.
  • Procedures for the inspection of heating or cooling systems.

More information: 

Information papers and other reports providing guidance on these standards  

Question: “Impressive list! So the job is done??”
Answer:   “Actually….., the job just started.  

Question: “Why not leave it up to the Member States?”
Answer: "Imagine that 27 or more countries all develop their own calculation procedures on the same subject… That would be a huge waste of time and effort. Besides….: do we intend to build a new babylonic tower??    

Question: “So the goal is to impose the same energy performance requirements over whole of ?”
Answer:   “Not at all! The goal is to try to speak the same language; in short: