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What is an innovative system/technology, in the framework of the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) regulations?

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In the framework of EPB regulations, an innovative system/technology is defined as a system/technology:

· that in most cases gives a better EPB performance than the common systems/technologies and,

· whose performance cannot be assessed by the standard EPB calculation procedure.

According to the definition mentioned here above, a glazing unit with a very low thermal transmittance (e.g. U-value = 0.3 W/m²K) is not an "innovative technology" if the procedure in the EPB regulation is based on EN 673, because this standard allows the calculation of such U-value – independently of the fact that this glazing can be very innovative from a technical point of view. On the other hand, an electrochromic glazing is an innovative technology if the EPB method foresees no procedure for handling the fact that the properties of this glazing vary with time. This will probably be the case because there is currently no CEN standard to estimate the energy performances of such glazing on an annual basis.

It is important to note that, according to the above definition, a technology can be considered as innovative in one Member State and not in another. For instance, ventilation systems based on humidity control are integrated in the French basis procedure of EPB regulation; they are therefore not considered in France as innovative systems whereas they will be considered as such in most of the other European countries.

More information can be found in the final report of the SAVE ENPER project (see: www.buildingsplatform.eu/cms/index.php or www.enper.org) which will be made available by the SAVE ASIEPI project, started in October 2007 (www.asiepi.eu – coming soon).

Author:  Nicolas Heijmans (BBRI)
Date:   14/01/08