New CEN standard: EN 16798-1:2019 on how to assess the energy performance of buildings 

Energy efficiency in buildings is one of the most relevant ways to foster energy saving and make our daily life more sustainable: indeed, according to the European Commission (EC), buildings are responsible for approximately 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Therefore, renovation of existing buildings and sustainable construction of new ones can lead to significant energy savings. Furthermore, better performing buildings have a lot of other advantages, ranging from the wellbeing of people living in them to making environments more secure and cheaper to heat and to cool.

CEN and CENELEC have a long tradition of collaborating with the EC in the area of improving the energy performance of buildings. In particular, a good part of the standardization work in the field has focussed on the implementation of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings.

The most recent development in this domain is the newly published EN 16798-1:2019 ‘Energy performance of buildings - Ventilation for buildings - Part 1: Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of energy performance of buildings addressing indoor air quality, thermal environment, lighting and acoustics - Module M1-6’. This standard focusses on setting new rules and requirements for indoor environmental parameters for thermal environment, indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics and explains how to use these parameters for building system design and energy performance calculations. It is part of a series, EN 16798, dedicated to determining the main aspects of the ventilation of buildings from the point of view of energy performance, based on standardization request M/480 by the EC.

In particular, EN 16798-1:2019 specifies criteria to be used in standard energy calculations for indoor environments meant for human consumption. It does so not by specifying design methods – leaving manufacturers free to provide their own – but instead it gives parameters that needs to be respected in the design of building heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems, in order to make them more energy efficient. The definitions used in the standard are based on the ones presented by EN ISO 52000 and specified in CEN ISO/TR 52000, establishing a systematic, comprehensive and modular structure for assessing the energy performance of new and existing buildings (EPB) in a holistic way. 

Why is this new standard so important? EN 16798 is relevant because it specifies precise and up-to-date criteria to guide building system design and energy performance calculations, thus allowing to increase the efficiency of European buildings and making life for all Europeans more comfortable.

EN 16798-1:2019 has been developed by CEN/TC 156 - Ventilation for buildings, whose Secretariat is held by BSI, the British National Standardization Body.

For more information, please contact Padmaja Kamath.