The Building Code update 2021 introduces the new energy efficiency rules for buildings. The decarbonisation of the building sector is fundamental to reach net-zero by 2050.
The new regulation will introduce updated standards for roofs, windows, walls and underfloor insulation requirements. All types of buildings are concerned, and each of them is associated to a different goal:
- The energy requirements for heating residential homes will have to reduce by 40%, compared with the previous requirements.
- The energy requirements for heating and cooling large residential buildings will have to reduce by 23%, compared with the previous requirements.
The number of climate zones, which are defined based on the temperatures, has expanded from 3 to 6, so that each zone better reflect the specific energy needs of the area.
Requirements are specifically expressed for:
- Windows, the main cause of heat loss in new homes. The insulation level for windows has hence increased, especially in colder climate zones. By 2023, all zone of the countries will have to reach the same level of insulation.
- Roofs, given that a cost-effective way of increasing the thermal performances of a building is roof insulation. The minimum amount of roof insulation was doubled.
- Walls, for which the new requirements have not consistently changed, as the increase in insulation performance would require high-level framing practices. This solution would not be easy to implement across the whole country.