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Energy performance legislation for new construction and renovation (EPB)

EPB stands for ‘Energieprestaties en Binnenklimaat’ (Energy Performance and Indoor Climate).

EPB requirements

Most buildings in Flanders must achieve a minimum level of insulation, energy efficiency or energy performance and ventilation. Which requirements apply exactly under the EPB legislation depends, among other things, on the purpose of the building, the nature of the works and the date of the building application or notification.

For new-build houses, for example, EPB requirements may be in place for insulation, energy performance (expressed as an E-level), ventilation, minimum share of renewable energy, etc.

How does it work?

  • Stap 1

    Appointment of a reporter

    • As client or person subject to declaration you must appoint an EPB reporter prior to the start of the works. That reporter can be the designing architect but also another architect or engineer. The EPB reporter will monitor and report on compliance with energy performance standards during the construction process.
    • You must also appoint a ventilation reporter for building applications. The ventilation reporter may be your EPB reporter or another person.
  • Stap 2

    Submission of the start declaration

    Before the start of the works, the reporter makes a pre-calculation to determine whether the construction project will meet the energy performance standards. This pre-calculation is included in the start declaration (in Dutch), which they submit to the Energy and Climate Agency of Flanders.

  • Stap 3

    Monitoring of material and installation choices

    All issues affecting the thermal insulation, energy performance and indoor climate of the building are closely monitored during the works. At this stage, you as the client have the freedom to change certain material or installation choices. If the architect notices that (due to a poor choice of material or installation) the EPB requirements may not be met, they must report this to the person subject to declaration and the reporter.

  • Stap 4

    Submission of the EPB declaration

    After the construction works, the reporter prepares the EPB declaration (in Dutch). This is a calculation based on observations, specifications, invoices, etc. The reporter ultimately submits the EPB declaration definitively to the Energy and Climate Agency of Flanders. The person subject to declaration will receive a signed copy of the declaration afterwards.

  • Stap 5

    'Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Construction’ for new constructions or deep energy renovations

    For new constructions (or equivalent) or ‘deep energy renovations’, the reporter will eventually also provide you with the ‘Energy Performance Certificate (EPC Construction)’. That EPC states whether the building meets the energy performance legislation and mentions the E-level, among other things.

Inspections and fines

As a person subject to declaration, you may be fined if:

The severity of the infraction determines the fine.

The reporter can also be fined if the EPB declaration is found to be inconsistent with the materials and techniques used.

Premiums

If the assigned E-level of a new-build is significantly below the target, this energy efficiency will be rewarded. Premiums are in place for new constructions and so is a reduction in property tax for energy-efficient buildings.

Duties of the client/principal/owner

The client is the person who orders the construction or reconstruction of a building. The client is usually also the owner. They are also referred to as the person subject to declaration.

If you are the client/owner/person subject to declaration, then these are your duties.

  1. You should appoint an EPB reporter. In some cases, the reporter is the architect involved but it can also be someone else.
  2. You should also appoint a ventilation reporter. They will prepare a preliminary ventilation design for you. This reflects the ventilation system chosen, its components and its spatial impact. They submit the preliminary ventilation design to the ventilation quality organisation database. Ask them for the details your EPB reporter needs for the start declaration.

Frequently asked questions

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