Towards a Pan-European tool for calculating the energy performance of buildings

Reliable calculation tools are necessary to precisely determine building performances (new and renovated buildings) and to improve them, so that ambitious energy performance objectives can be achieved.  The EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) defines the general framework for the energy performance of buildings.  Member States are responsible for mechanisms for putting the directive into application (including calculation procedures).

Member States have already created national calculation software.  Quality is not always sufficient due to the lack of experience and means.  The many different national methods hinder the dissemination of good practices and the circulation of products and services in Europe.

A European calculation methodology with a modular structure and an interface (simple or detailed) adapted to the needs of each user will make it possible to improve quality and avoid repetition of efforts made by each Member State.  The methodology to be developed must be flexible enough so that each country can respect the EPBD Directive as a function of its specific needs and existing practices (such as meteorological data and building typologies).  This common approach could be optional at first with no obligation to replace the national method, to facilitate its acceptance.

Free software (published by the public authorities) is available alongside commercial interfaces developed to facilitate the use of this software.  Therefore, a distinction has to be made between two domains (public and private).  The common methodology must remain in the public domain so that experience can be shared.  Software adapted to user needs can be produced by private companies using the European methodology.