Are you familiar with E-level 30? And what is needed to build or renovate a nearly zero-emission building? Or how does a passive house push this even more? Read along to find out everything you need to know about energy efficient homes.
Nowadays it’s impossible to build a house without taking energy efficiency into account. For every building you apply for planning permission, you need to consider and meet the Energy Performance and Indoor Climate requirements (EPIC). Respecting these requirements when building or renovating a building, will make sure you have an optimal energy consumption. Every year these requirements become more strict – since 2021, almost all buildings in Flanders need to be nearly zero-emission buildings. But what does this mean?
Energy Performance and Indoor Climate requirements
Online you can find which energy performance requirements need to be respected for your construction project. First of all, the exact requirements depend on the purpose of your building. The norms for schools and offices are different from the ones for residential buildings. Also the nature of the construction works play a role: are you building from scratch or renovating an existing building? And finally, the requirements depend on the year you submit your application. Careful: the year in which you submit counts, not the year your application is accepted. And last but, not least, respecting the energy performance requirements is mandatory. If you don’t take them into account, you risk getting a hefty fine.
One of the energy performance requirements for residential buildings is the E-level. The lower the E-level, the more energy efficient your building is. This level indicates the maximum level your building is allowed to reach.
Nearly zero-emission building (NZEB)
The highest E-level a nearly zero-emission building, or an NZEB-building, is allowed to reach is E30. This building must meet the requirements regarding thermal isolation, risk of overheating and ventilation. The low amount of energy required should be covered by energy from renewable sources.
It’s important to consider that each country and region determines different rules and requirements. The NZEB requirements are only applicable in Flanders.
A passive house has an even higher energy performance. Passive housing barely uses energy, the average total energy consumption is 75% lower than a traditional newly built home. Because it is very well isolated you barely need to use heating or a ventilation system to control the temperature within the house, because of the optimal use of available heat from the sun or the residual value of electrical appliances. A passive house consumes a maximum of 15 kWh/m² and oftentimes even has an E-level below zero. The requirements for a passive house meet the highest standards in terms of energy efficiency.
Whether you opt for an NZEB building or prefer to build a passive house, it’s a good investment to fight climate change and on top of that, your wallet benefits from it in the long run. Building permits for demolition and reconstruction of a nearly zero-emission building applied for in 2023, you enjoy a 50% reduction on property tax for five years. When you apply for a building permit for buildings aiming for an E-level of E10 or lower, you’ll get a 100% reduction on property tax. This counts also for newly built residential buildings.