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Directives

EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive)

Aim of initiative

This recast aimed to clarify and simplify certain provisions from the previous EPBD, extending its scope, making its impact more effective and providing a leading role for the public sector.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

This legislation was key for Eurima as it enlarged the energy performance requirement for all EU buildings (not just for those of more than 1,000 m2, as was the case in the previous Directive). In addition, it states that all new buildings will be ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ - by 2019 (for public buildings) or 2021 (for private buildings). Also, the recast Directive specifically asks for improvements to the energy performance of elements of the building envelope (for instance, insulation on walls or roofs) whenever they are retrofitted or replaced, even if it is not within the context of a “major renovation” of the building.

Eurima’s view

This ambitious Directive sets the path towards nearly zero energy buildings in the future. It represents a milestone for the EU as regards world leadership in building-related legislation. It is essential to ensure that Member States effectively implement the EPBD in a timely manner. The Commission should closely monitor this.

Also, an essential step was given by the Commission with the adoption, on January 2012, of the Regulation establishing a comparative methodology framework for calculating cost-optimal levels of minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and building elements.

This Regulation should be successfully implemented in the Member States with the needed level of ambition, in order to ensure ambitious national building codes which also apply to renovations.

Status

Published in the Official Journal on 18 June 2010.

The Regulation on Cost-Optimal levels was published in the Official Journal on 21 March 2012. 

Eco-Design Directive

Aim of initiative

The Directive sets the conditions for the establishment of implementing measures regulating the environmental characteristics that energy-using and energy-related products need to have in order to be placed in the market.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

Insulation products are not specifically addressed by this Directive. Nevertheless, the extension of its scope to “other energy related products” opens the possibility of covering “products which do not necessarily use energy but have an impact on energy and can therefore contribute to saving energy”, such as insulation materials.

Eurima’s view

Eurima believes that Eco-Design is a powerful tool for increasing the performance of products. Nevertheless, the energy performance of certain “intermediate” products, such as insulation, is not per se quantifiable in their design, since they form part of a system that will perform only when put into a building. Therefore it is difficult to objectively evaluate their performance independently. In addition, when evaluating the environmental impact of insulation, one should take into account the greater benefits of these products during the use phase, when they are fulfilling their mission (i.e. saving energy).

Eco-Design implementing rules should be established for those products with an Environmental Product Declaration EPD, taking a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) consistent approach.

Status

The Directive was adopted in October 2009. On 2010, the Commission mandated a consultant, VHK, for the elaboration of a study establishing a priority list for products to be covered by the future “Working Plan”, establishing implementing measures for this Directive. VHK published the final version of the study on 16 December 2012. The consultant advised to exclude thermal insulation out of the priority list of products, as their inclusion in the Working Plan could lead to regulatory overlap with the Construction Products Regulation (as regards product information, requirements) and the Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings (as regards requirements for building components in which insulation materials are applied).

The Commission’s Working Plan is expected to be adopted shortly.

Eco-label Directive

Aim of initiative

The Directive sets out the requirements necessary for a product to obtain the Eco-label. This voluntary scheme - established in 1992 - aims to encourage businesses to raise the environmental performance of their products and services, by offering the ‘flower logo’ label as the EU sign for excellence in ‘green’ performance.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

As for Eco-design, Eurima supports the use of sound and coherent criteria for the assignment of labels to products – such as the ones used in construction – which cannot be judged on their environmental performance without considering their final use (i.e. being part of a building) and their whole life-cycle. It is worth noting that the European Commission specifically promotes the use of “eco-labelled” products in Green Public Procurement.

Eurima’s view

As with Eco-design, Eurima supports the use of sound and coherent criteria for the assignment of labels to products which cannot be judged on their environmental performance without considering their final use (i.e. being part of a building) and their whole life-cycle.

Status

Adopted in November 2009. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/labelling/energy_labelling_en.htm

Energy Efficiency DIRECTIVE

Aim of initiative

The proposal aims to help the EU reaching the target of 20% energy savings target for the year 2020. A number of “binding measures” are proposed in this respect.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

In what regards buildings, Member States are required to refurbish, as from 1 January 2014, 3% of the surface of their building stock to minimal energy performance requirements (as established by the EPBD). During the inter-Institutional debate under the Co-decision procedure, the Parliament introduced a requirement for Member States to adopt long-term plans for the renovation of their building stock by 2050 (reducing the overall energy consumption of EU buildings by 80% in that date).

Eurima’s view

Eurima believes that when addressing building renovation, the EU needs to take a holistic perspective (including both public and private buildings) and a long term view. A coherent and structured strategy with a long term horizon, ideally 2050, is the only way to put Europe on track for reducing the current energy wastage of buildings while creating hundreds of thousands of stable, local jobs and re-launching the economy in one of the sectors –construction- that has been most badly affected by the crisis.

In the context of current economic, environmental and energy challenges, it is essential to act now and do it wisely, avoid making wrong choices that will waste money and time. Developing roadmaps today means enabling EU countries to be in the right track for achieving deeper savings by 2050. Without such a long term EU / national visions, action for building renovation will be limited to “cherry picking” of short-term, suboptimal measures. Current refurbishment cycles are between 30-40 years, which means that -if renovations are not done with the proper level of ambition- enormous energy saving potential will be “locked in” for a long time.

Ambitious requirements for public building renovation are the first step in the right direction, where public authorities show leadership and demonstrate best practices, promoting the creation of a renovation market and the improvement in the “learning curve”.

Status

See here the "non-paper on the energy efficiency directive" agreed on 19-20 April 2012. 

On the 14 June 2012 the Danish Presidency received from the EU Member States the endorsement on compromise text of the EED. This text will be up for vote at an Energy Committee (probably in July), and following that it is foreseen that it will go to plenary vote in September 2012.

CPD (Construction Products Directive)

Aim of initiative

Create a common market for building products by setting quality standards

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

 A building product meeting the standards can attain a CE mark. This mark is a passport to the EU market. The standards now cover fitness for use and 6 essential requirements, including fire protection. In future when the CPD becomes a CPR (Regulation) there will be a 7th requirement, namely, sustainability,

Eurima’s view

Eurima partly aligned with CEPMC on the transfer from CPD to CPR while strongly defending that the need for standards and essential requirements to be related to the product and not to the size of the producer (i.e. there should be no exemption from safety rules for small producers)

Status

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is now adopted. It makes the EU regulatory framework on construction products directly applicable as from 2013, without the need for national transposition of the legislation.
Other important differences between CPD and CPR include:

  • there is a new basic works requirement (previously called essential requirement) i.e. BWR 7 on sustainability of the product; and
  • the BWR on health and safety is now compulsory for the entire life of a product (cradle to grave) and no longer for the use phase only

The mandates for the standardisation bodies are being prepared and most standards for thermal insulation production have been adopted. Implementation often remains a problem. Discussion is continuing on some issues.  http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/construction/index_en.htm

IPPC (IPD)

Aim of initiative

Regulates the instruments which seek to reduce industrial pollution Sets guidelines for Member States when issuing operational permits (emission standards)

Shortt introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

Under the IPPC, Best Available Techniques Reference documents are issued by the Commission in consultation with industry. Member States roughly follow these guidelines for issuing permits.

Eurima’s view

Eurima negotiated the draft new BREF rules with the Commission. The result is satisfactory for both sides.
However, the BREF Notes for mineral wool are administratively part of the wider BREF Notes for the entire glass sector. Other sub-sectors of the glass industry are still under discussion. As long as these discussions are ongoing, the new BREF rules for mineral wool await publication in the Official Journal.

Status

The Directive becomes the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the guidelines become binding documents.  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pollutants/stationary/ippc/proposal.htm 

 

Waste Framework Directive

Aim of initiative

The Waste Framework Directive aims to reduce waste as much as possible and to move towards closed-cycle materials management

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

Sets binding targets for Member States to reduce waste drastically, including for the consultation and demolition sectors. It also regulates the collection of waste.

Eurima’s view

Eurima’s is preparing a ‘vision on waste management’ publication.

Status

Implementation is being introduced gradually between 12 December 2010 and 12 December 2020.  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/legislation/a.htm

Directive on Occupational Protection

Aim of initiative

Sets minimum Health & Safety requirements for workers

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

 

These requirements are minimum requirements. Individual Member States may choose to go further.

Eurima’s view

Eurima participates and contributes to the discussion in the Commission’s Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL).

Status

Scientific discussion under way which could lead to occupational safety standards for fibres