Relevant EU Directives

The Construction Products Regulation adopted by the European Union defines the building products requirements which are applicable throughout Europe. This also applies for technical insulation. Directives - such as those for energy savings and to mitigate climate change (EED) - are also implemented by the EU Member States.

Construction Products Regulation

The new Construction Products Regulation has been in effect in Europe since 2013. It is legally binding in all Member States as a common European regulation and does not require any implementation in national law. As its foremost goal, it promotes the free and unimpeded flow of goods of all tested construction products within the EU. For practical implementation, the Construction Products Regulation defines 'harmonised technical specifications' which should result in uniform product and testing standards for construction products in Europe.

The Construction Products Regulation regulates the requirements for safety and suitability of products which are permanently used in above-ground and underground construction in the entire EU area. With an obligatory declaration of performance, the manufacturer provides concrete specifications for the performances and significant characteristics of its product. The declaration is prerequisite for clearly declaring building products as permissible for trade and to provide them with the universal CE mark.

EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The EU Energy Efficiency Directive is intended to improve energy efficiency with the EU area and to reduce energy consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced in a cost-effective manner and climate change should be mitigated. In 2007 the EU Member States reached an agreement to strategically reduced primary energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020. In order to make up for the previous shortfall, the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) passed in 2011 buttresses this goal with heightened requirements on the Member States.

Accordingly, EU countries must define national goals and implement reform programmes. Specifically, they must achieve energy savings equal to 1.5 per cent per year for their annual energy volume from 2014 to 2020. The average energy volume of the years 2010 to 2012 serves as a reference variable. For fulfilment of this goal, the countries are free to choose whether to obligate national energy suppliers or to utilise other instruments, such as subsidy programmes or energy taxes to achieve the final energy savings. The countries must submit annual reports on the status quo achieved in the national energy saving goals. Technical insulation with FEF and PEF insulation is also means of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings.