In the European Union, Member States are allowed to set minimum performance requirements to construction products available on their market. It is preferred not to have EU wide performance requirements, so that individual Member States regulate such performance individually taking into account their own building stock and climate specificities. In Member States that have correctly and timely implemented the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) (2010) there are requirements related to the energy performance (holistic approach) of new buildings and buildings receiving major renovation. This should in theory be complemented by prescriptive energy performance requirements for building components with a very strong influence on the energy performance of the whole structure, such as windows.
In 2017, the European Union reviews the EPBD which represents an opportunity to assess the stat-of-play in the Member States and eventually propose measures to improve the assessment of the energy performance of windows in national schemes. A study for Glass for Europe provides a clear picture of the minimum requirements for window replacement in the residential sector across the different member states and reflects on if/how the European framework could be improved to further support the Member States with additional guidance.