ISO Standard ensures everyone speaks same technical language on energy performance of buildings

Issue 48 – April 2013

A new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard will help to ensure that everyone speaks the same technical language when evaluating the energy performance of buildings. ISO/technical report (TR) 16344:2012, Energy performance of buildings – Common terms, definitions and symbols for the overall energy performance rating and certification will help performance ratings bodies and certification bodies in the energy sector. It will also help builders, suppliers, regulators, legislators, and customers to communicate in terms backed by international agreement.

Egil Öfverholm, Chair of ISO/TC 163, says, 'ISO/TR 16344 will answer the expectations of the building sector to use good practices and choose relevant technologies for energy performance rating and certification.'

Internationally agreed terms and definitions enable comparison of requirements

Though the concept of evaluating the energy performance of buildings has become topical worldwide, prior to the publication of this technical report, internationally agreed terms and definitions were absent from the conversation. This made it difficult for stakeholders in different countries to compare minimum energy performance requirements. ISO/TR 16344 provides an unambiguous and consistent common set of terms, definitions, and symbols for all elements, to assess the overall energy performance of buildings.

The Standard:

  • allows all stakeholders to share the same terms of reference

  • can be used when evaluating performance in the context of national or regional building regulations, for example, checking compliance with minimum energy performance requirements and certifying energy performance

  • is categorised by theme (the building itself, its design, and the energy used) and includes concepts and physical quantities described in helpful tables, designating energy measures with their corresponding symbols and units. Energy performance is considered for both buildings and their components, including classification of system boundaries

  • specifies a common set of symbol from the set of international Standards covering the energy performance of buildings, in particular a set of subscripts to distinguish between different energy uses and energy carriers

  • is the first of a set of three closely related Standards on the energy performance of buildings. The other two Standards are in the final preparation stage: ISO 16343, Energy performance of buildings – Methods for expressing energy performance and for energy certification of buildings, and ISO 16346, Energy performance of buildings – Assessment of overall energy performance.

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Summarised from an ISO media release, 19 March 2013.

Related Standards

  • ISO 12655:2013 Energy performance of buildings – Presentation of measured energy use of buildings
  • ISO 13790:2008 Energy performance of buildings – Calculation of energy use for space Heating and cooling
  • ISO 18292:2011 Energy performance of fenestration systems for residential buildings – Calculation procedure
  • ISO 23045:2008 Building environment design – Guidelines to assess energy efficiency of new buildings
  • ISO 15928-5:2013 Houses – Description of performance – Part 5: Operating energy
  • NZS 4218:2009 Thermal insulation – Housing and small buildings
  • NZS 4243.1:2007 Energy efficiency – Large buildings – Building thermal envelope
  • NZS 4243.2:2007 Energy efficiency – Large buildings – Lighting
  • NZS 4246:2006 Energy efficiency – Installing insulation in residential buildings
  • NZS 4220:1982 Code of practice for energy conservation in non–residential buildings


Published in energy.

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