In Brussels, the BEP (Building Energy Performance) regulations require owners to comply with a certain level of thermal insulation for buildings where work is being carried out.
These regulations apply to any heated and/or air-conditioned building where construction, reconstruction or transformation work requiring an urban planning permit is carried out.
This is, of course, provided that this work covers the building shell and influences its energy performance.
Some exceptions exist - please consult the Brussels Environment website for more information on the conditions that apply in each case.
The main principles are as follows... the precise thresholds of the BEP requirements depend on the nature of the work and the use of the property. These are available on the Brussels Environment website
A thermal bridge is a weak link in the external structure of the house (on an outside wall, the roof or the ground). This phenomenon occurs when there are interruptions in the thermal insulation or gaps between floor slabs.
In other words, it is a matter of avoiding heat loss at the junction points of the building walls.
Specific values for each component are provided for in the BEP regulations:
For roofs and exterior walls, for example, these values correspond approximately (depending on the composition of the wall) to 15 cm of glass wool or about 12 cm of synthetic foam. There is no obligation on the type or thickness of insulation material used, as long as the required performance is achieved. However, the energy premiums awarded are increased for natural insulating materials.
Read our advice for insulating an existing wall.
The BEP regulations prescribe further measures which have a direct influence on insulation, technology choice and the use of renewable energy:
Fines of up to several thousand euros are prescribed for owners of buildings that do not meet these standards.
On the other hand, it is in your interest to comply with the requirements of the BEP regulations, or even to do better! Indeed, most energy premiums impose stricter conditions than the 'legal minimum'. In addition, a well-insulated dwelling will obtain a BEP certificate that is much more attractive if you rent it out or sell it on.
Do not hesitate to insulate beyond the requirements. Not only will you be rewarded financially, but you will also pre-empt more demanding legislation in the future. More information on the website of Brussels Environment.
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