Thermal Welfare and Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings

The coming into force of the Spanish Technical Building Code (Royal Decree 314/2006 of 17 March 2006) imply for the construction sector that there are some measures regarding energy efficiency that are compulsory and need to be stated in the building project.

Any action taken to improve energy efficiency of the thermal closure in new construction buildings, and in those already existing ones, will include having to choose an insulation material which is to fulfil various performances. The goal is to obtain less energy demanding buildings for the very same comfort level inside the premises.

According to the IDEA, The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, improvements in thermal insulation in a building can originate energy and money savings as well as reductions in CO2 emissions up to 30% in heating and air conditioning consumption, due to reducing energy losses.

Taking into account that the housing sector is the responsible for almost a quarter of the energy consumption in Europe, as leaders of the sectors we have to focus on a path towards sustainability. Most of all because it is already pointed out by the new directive regarding energy performance in buildings (Directive 2010/31/EU, 2010), so that all new buildings are to be buildings must be nearly zero-energy by 2021.

From December 31st 2020 on, all new buildings are to be built “nearly zero-energy”, but for public buildings for which the directive sets the date of December 31st 2018.

Article 9, Directive 2010/31/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings.

“The main goal towards energy saving stands for reducing energy consumption at every possible level”

‘Nearly zero-energy building’ (NZEB)

Reduction in energy consumption and the use of energy from renewable sources in the building sector are a significant part of the measures required to reduce European Union energy dependency and the emissions causing greenhouse effect.

‘Nearly zero-energy building’ is a concept on energy consumption presented by the Directive 2010/31/UE, where it is stated that:

‘Nearly zero-energy building’ means a building   that has a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex I. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

Nevertheless, European Union countries are to define by their own the ‘Nearly zero-energy building’ concept. Spain will also have to develop its own definition for the different periods set: by 2015, by 2018 and by 2020. Afterwards, the Commission will assess the national plans.