Applying the EPBD to improve the Energy Performance Requirements to Existing Buildings - ENPER-EXIST

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to the website of the ENPER-EXIST project.


ENPER-EXIST is a project in the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Commission which started in January 2005 and ended in June 2007.

The project can be summarised as follows:
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) set a series of requirements specifically dedicated to existing buildings. But the Member States were facing difficulties to implement some of them. The main objective of the ENPER-EXIST project was to support the take off of the EPBD in the field of existing buildings. This was achieved by working on three main issues which were faced by Member States in the application of the Directive:

  • lack of coordination of technical work on existing buildings
  • lack of coordination of work on non-technical issues especially the impact of certification on the market, the human capital and the national administration
  • insufficient knowledge of the building stock

ENPER-EXIST used an intensive networking of existing national and international projects to defragment efforts to solve these three issues. In addition the project defined a roadmap for future actions regarding existing buildings. ENPER-EXIST worked in close coordination with the Concerted Action set up by Members States to support the application of the EPBD.
ENPER-EXIST received funding from the Community‘s Intelligent Energy Europe programme under the contract EIE/04/096/S07.38645.

Achieved results:

  • Reports on current gaps in the use of CEN standards for existing buildings, and written comments to relevant CEN committees
  • Report on the main legal, economical and organisational issues affecting building certification procedures, including recommendations based on available experiences
  • Information in the existing building stock and proposals on how to improve this knowledge
  • A roadmap for future actions to improve the energy performance of existing buildings
  • Besides the general dissemination by the website, multiple workshops, newsletters etc. a two-way communication via a steering committee with representatives from the target groups and via personal links between the project partners and national policy makers was achieved. In total 20 panels received advice from the project partners during work on the implementation of the EPBD, but they also provided input to the project work.

All results are available on the project website part Results/Reports

Lessons learned:
From the project results:

  • ENPER-EXIST pointed out the necessity of improvement of CEN standards for existing buildings and the necessity to develop national inspection guidelines enabling to collect the necessary data for existing buildings.
  • Non-technical issues related to the implementation of the certification procedure are diversified and their impact very important. Member States should pay more attention on them.
  • ENPER-EXIST shows the limited knowledge of the existing building stock in many Member States. It could be highly improved by using data collected through the certification process.
  • Member States have tested different specific approaches for actions addressed to existing buildings. It is interesting that countries benefit from already tested experiences.

From the management and dissemination:

  • The success of the project starts during the preparation stage. Apart of common management actions, the role of the coordinator is to create a strong synergy between partners and with other target groups and to maintain it during the execution of the action.
  • It‘s very important to start the dissemination in the beginning of the project and to maintain it during the progress of the project with specific events at different important stages. Workshops are keys points on dissemination, their organisation requires an important preparation especially that ENPER-EXIST decided to organise them in collaboration with other projects such as the EPBD Concerted Action and in connection with relevant other events.
  • It‘s very important to constitute a project steering committee with representative of target groups. It enables orientation of the work, additional information and correction in the case of deviation.
  • The download rate of the reports between November 2006 and June 2007 was 490 times as average. It was interesting to see that the website users are not only interested in the summary report of each work package, but sometimes even more in the working documents that are the basis of the reports.

The content of this document reflects the authors‘ view. The authors and the European Commission are not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

© 2006
Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics