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05 June 2024

The new directive will facilitate the retrofitting of more efficient systems.

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The recently published Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provides, among other things, for the promotion of renovations in residential buildings. According to Atecyr, these renovations will focus on improving the building envelope, refurbishing installations for more efficient, intelligent and better managed systems, and implementing renewable energy resources.

The new directive’s publication represents a significant milestone in the EU's efforts to achieve climate neutrality, while simultaneously boosting competitiveness and energy security across the region. This is according to Atecyr, the Spanish Technical Association of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration: “This directive’s successful implementation will depend on the collective efforts of all parties to ensure that the benefits are maximised, and the objectives are met.”

One of the stipulations of the recently implemented regulatory framework is the requirement for building decarbonisation. Atecyr posits that “the directive's ambitious objective of achieving carbon neutrality in the building sector is predicated upon the necessity for zero-emission buildings (ZEB), which will affect new buildings from 2030 (two years earlier for public buildings). Furthermore, by 2050, all buildings will be zero-emission buildings (ZEB), which implies a “retroactive” nature of the requirements. The document emphasises the necessity to phase out the use of fossil fuels in existing buildings by 2040.”

Renewable Energy Sources

Furthermore, the directive is likely to result in an increase in the number of renovations. “The document serves to emphasise the pivotal role of the public sector in facilitating the comprehensive refurbishment of existing buildings. Moreover, there is an obligation to renovate non-residential buildings and to encourage renovations in residential buildings.

Any renovation project’s objective should be to achieve the requirements of zero emission buildings (ZEB), in accordance with the Energy Efficiency First principle. This entails improving the building envelope’s quality, retrofitting installations with more efficient, smarter and better managed systems, and using renewable energy resources.”