Building with the directives for Nearly Energy Neutral Buildings

All new buildings must be "Nearly Energy Neutral Buildings" (also known as BENG) since January 2021. This is laid down in the ‘Energy Performance of Buildings Directive’ (EPDB). Ballast Nedam completed its first BENG projects in 2021 and will continue to apply the directive company-wide in 2022.

BENG means that a building has a very high energy performance.  The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on its own plot or nearby.

BENG in the Netherlands

EU countries have shared their plans with the Commission and described how they intend to increase the number of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in their countries. In the Netherlands, this has been done since 1 January 2021 through a BENG calculation according to the NTA8800 guideline. All new building permits, both residential and non-residential, must meet the requirements for BENG.

The guideline sets requirements for the maximum energy demand, fossil energy consumption and generation of renewable energy in buildings. This means that all buildings must have good insulation of the building envelope, energy-efficient installations and use of sustainable energy. Developers and contractors will have to ensure good cohesion between installations and building, because one step influences the other.

BENG in practice

BENG is not limited to changing the calculation method. The new guidelines require energy performance to be calculated at multiple levels during the construction phase. For a building permit request, the building as a whole and at apartment/address level must meet the BENG requirements. During the handover, a calculation/energy performance report is made to determine the energy label. A building file must be made up for the building as a whole and at apartment/address level for substantiation of the quality. To this end, survey protocols have been introduced.

During the realisation, evidence must be collected to show that the calculated measures and performances have actually been realised. Various matters are recorded in the file, such as a substantiation of the thermal quality, results of the airtightness measurement, adjustment reports and installations. All values used in the energy performance report must be demonstrated with several photos and pieces of evidence. In order to establish an energy label efficiently, it is important that the documentation and the file are in good order.

BENG & Ballast Nedam

Energy performance reports may only be issued by companies certified in accordance with the Assessment Guideline (BRL) 9500. To guarantee quality, this process must be carried out by certified EP advisors. Since these new building regulations influence the construction process, Ballast Nedam has been certified in accordance with this assessment guideline for both residential and non-residential buildings. Ballast Nedam colleagues Steven Akkermans and Frederik de Kok have passed the necessary exams to become certified EP consultants. In order to guarantee the quality and independence of the Energy labels, we are affiliated with KIWA. At Ballast Nedam, BENG is centralised under the roof of the CSR & Sustainability department, together with other certifications such as BREEAM and LEED. This is how we approach BENG company-wide.