All buildings undergoing a major renovation will have to comply with the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, according to a leaked draft of proposed revisions obtained by BSD

There is currently a 1000m2 threshold for national minimum energy performance requirements when buildings have significant renovation. Only 28% of the existing building stock is above this figure. Removing the threshold would open up the rest of stock to the directive.

The EPBD is the main EU mechanism to tackle building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It does not fix EU-wide levels but requires member states to draw up their own mechanisms, taking account of local climate and building norms.

The changes are proposed to clarify and simplify existing provisions and to extend the scope of the directive. Other proposals include:

  • providing member states with a benchmarking calculation to allow the comparison of energy performance requirements to cost-optimal levels to be compared
  • recalculation of the energy performance certificate every time there is a property transaction
  • energy performance certificates to be required by 31 December, 2010, for buildings of more than 250m2 used by a public authority or regularly visited by the public, and the requirement for display energy certificates to be extended to include all public authority buildings of more than 250m2.

The European Commission proposals also call for an independent quality control system for heating system and air-conditioning inspections, involving random sampling of assessors’ reports. And it says the market for accreditation of experts should be opened up to more skilled professionals, such as energy services companies.

Judy Ong, an accredited EPC assessor, said: “I’ve seen lots of cases where the landlord has owned a building for 30 years and not spent a penny. A new tenant comes in and wants to renovate it, and that’s the opportunity to make serious changes and invest money, so I think dropping the 1000m2 threshold is a great idea.

“If you were to do an EPC with every property transaction, you would need to time it right, consider the changes a tenant wants to make and how that might impact on the rating in the near future.”

Schools lessons

The countdown has begun to the Building Schools Exhibition and Conference. BSEC is the only event that focuses solely on the construction, maintenance and design of schools in the UK. It will be held at Manchester Central convention centre on 11-12 February. Register for the free exhibition now at: