Developing future-proof building energy assessment methods

… to support the transition to a carbon neutral housing stock, while assessing the techno-socio-economic impact at the individual building, the local grid and the building stock level. That is, in short, the mission of the NEPBC project.

Short project description

Building energy assessment is a key driver in the transition towards a carbon neutral housing stock. Energy assessment methods are needed to judge compliance with energy performance regulations, to increase transparency in real estate transactions, to monitor the energy efficiency of the building and to help planning energy saving retrofit measures. The existing assessment methods experience following problems.

  1. There is a systematic performance gap between the theoretical energy use predicted by energy performance assessment methods, and the actual energy use in dwellings.
  2. Using the calculated yearly primary energy balance as the basis for performance assessment may not be the best choice to prepare buildings for the future decarbonized energy grid.
  3. Energy performance regulations may fail to decrease carbon emissions as a result of interconnected market responses, as a result of building-grid interaction or as a result of neglecting embodied energy in materials and systems installed to reduce operational energy use.

To overcome these problems, we will therefore investigate how the framework of building energy assessment methods used in the EPB regulation in Flanders should evolve to take evolutions in science and technology into account. We will create knowledge to support the transition to a carbon neutral housing stock by 2050.


Universiteit Gent

Research groups:

  • Building Physics
  • Applied Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics
  • Electrical Energy Laboratory
  • General Economics
  • Valorisation Cluster Sustainable Energy Technologies

Plateaustraat 22

9000 Gent

[email protected]


Dept. Civil Engineering, Building Physics section

Kasteelpark Arenberg 40 – bus 2447

3001 Heverlee

[email protected]

+32 16 32 40 10

Belgian Building Research Institute

Lozenberg 7

1932 Sint-Stevens-Woluwe


Turnhoutsebaan 139A

2140 Borgerhout

[email protected]

+32 03 235 02 81