The EPB regulations (Energy Performance of Buildings) are currently the only direct measure that imposes a specific level of thermal insulation in Brussels.
The legal obligations on energy, particularly with regard to thermal insulation, are regularly made more stringent. Why are changes made so often? To give private individuals and construction professionals time to adapt. In response to the Kyoto accords, Europe has taken a number of decisions aimed at saving energy. And the member states are obliged to abide by these decisions.
In Belgium, housing is a regional competence. In practical terms, therefore, the government of the Brussels-Capital Region is gradually imposing various measures. These are the so-called ‘EPB’ regulations (Energy Performance of Buildings).
For roofs and outside walls, for instance, these values correspond to 15 cm of glass wool or 12 cm of synthetic foam.
With a building project or far-reaching renovation work, the architect determines what measures have to be taken to comply with the EPB standards. If the architect does not do this, then an approved EPB adviser has to check and validate the measures taken.
With simple renovations you do not have to call upon an approved EPB adviser. If you wish, you can request the assistance of an architect or the EPB officer in your commune.
The EPB regulations stipulate the minimum quality requirements to be observed, but you can, of course, go further if you wish! More stringent conditions than the ‘legal minimum’ are required for most energy grants for insulation.
So do not hesitate to insulate better. Not only will you be financially rewarded, but you will also be anticipating future – more stringent – laws.
For instance, as of 2015 every new building project in Brussels must be a passive building (this already applies for office buildings). Heating a passive building takes the equivalent of 1.5 m3 of gas or 1.5 litres of heating oil per square metre per year, which is only possible with particularly good insulation!
There are another two legal obligations that have an indirect impact on insulation.
To calculate the E level, account is taken of the compactness of the building and its airtightness, any energy produced (e.g. using solar panels), the type of ventilation, the awning and finally the insulation. This legal performance obligation therefore also has an indirect impact on the insulation.
Consequently, a poorly insulated house or apartment is less attractive to buy or rent. Although this certificate does not impose any specific measures with regard to insulation, it does put pressure on the real-estate market. Given the law of supply and demand, this certificate therefore encourages better home insulation.
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed about energyfacts.