EUI 6.4! The European Energy Code

On February 22nd Puget Sound ASHRAE hosted Dr. Bjarne Olesen, the president-elect of our 54,000 member society.

Dr. Olesen’s presentation was entitled, “The European Approach to Decrease Energy Use in Buildings Towards ZEB (Zero Energy Buildings)”. Dr. Olesen is a professor and practicing engineer in Denmark. View his presentation here:

2017-02 ASHRAE-DL talks Canada-US


The main approach promoted in Europe is nothing new –  to those who follow such things – namely we must:

  • Decrease energy demands (building design)
  • Increase energy efficiency (HVAC systems)
  • Increase use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass)

These are things many of us do as part of our professional work on a day to day basis.

What was remarkable to me is the targets that the member nations of the EU establish for their building energy use. Each has the ability to set their own.

This table indicates the Danish goals:

In Inch-Pound units this yields an EUI of:

Realize this EUI process omits process and plug loads.

Estonia, an office building is targeted at 50 kWh/m^2.  This yields an EUI of:

For those of us interested in the goal of NZEB (or nearly so),  as I happen to be, these are the kinds of energy targets that we will need. In the US, we have nowhere near these energy standards.

Also important, is that there are those of us who work with architectural firms and Owners that have NZEB goals as well.

There is much more in Dr. Olesen’s presentation. It was great stuff! With his permission, I have attached a copy of his full presentation.

If you have any comments or further observations, feel free to email me at

Author: David Redding, Sustainability Chair, BEMP, HBDP, CEM, LEED AP BD+C

2017-02 ASHRAE-DL talks Canada-US