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From 1 January this year, new Technical Conditions (TC 2021) have been in force in Poland. According to them, designed and constructed buildings must meet rigorous standards of thermal insulation. Both the environment and residents will benefit from the introduction of these requirements. Less heat loss means lower maintenance costs. In case of buildings designed by Polish Wooden Houses, savings can be as high as 20%. Currently, the standard demand of buildings for non-renewable energy is 70 kWh/sqm. PDD buildings will have a non-renewable energy demand of 55-60 kWh/sqm, which means that residents will pay up to 20% lower electricity bills than in a typical concrete building currently under construction.
The WT 2021 standard covers three compartments:
- Buildings are to lose less heat – better insulation of walls, roofs, floors, doors or windows and elimination of so-called thermal bridges through which heat “escapes”;
- Buildings are to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, thanks to lower demand for non-renewable energy;
- Buildings are to make greater use of ecological heat sources – heat pumps and photovoltaics.
The technical conditions to which buildings should conform have already been tightened twice before: in 2014 and 2017. This type of gradual update of the provisions contained in the technical conditions is intended to bring them into line with EU regulations. The idea is also to ensure that all newly built Polish houses and flats use as little electricity as possible. Thanks to this, slightly higher costs incurred at the construction stage will pay off during operation.
– For Polish Wooden Houses, the introduction of the WT 2021 energy standard is positive news, as our estates which are being constructed and designed meet these standards with a large margin of 20%. We take care of high thermal comfort due to the use of recuperation, which should be a recommended standard in the near future, similarly to open diffusion walls. The WT 2021 also includes the need to install heat pumps in most buildings. This is great news for the environment and for residents. We, on our part, will strive to make heat pumps a required standard in multi-family buildings as well – says Tomasz Szlązak, President of the Management Board of Polskie Domów Drewnianych S.A.
Lower bills thanks to prefabrication and elimination of thermal bridges
Technical conditions 2021 introduce, among other things, the requirement for lower demand of buildings for non-renewable energy (EP coefficient), which in the case of single-family houses is 70 kWh/sqm per year (previously 95 kWh/sqm per year), and in the case of multi-family buildings is 65 kWh/sqm per year (previously 85 kWh/sqm per year). One of the main problems with thermal insulation are so-called thermal bridges, which are unwanted gaps through which a building loses heat and energy. Only modular prefabrication technology eliminates these types of defects almost 100% during production on the assembly floor.
– The widespread use of prefabrication will eliminate thermal bridges almost 100%. If a given manufacturer of prefabricated modules makes hundreds of elements with the same technology and has practiced building the same wall many times, he is able to optimise the process so that it takes less time and without any loss of material. Thanks to experience and repeatability, we can obtain modular constructions with almost perfect thermal insulation. These modules are used to construct our buildings, which will have a non-renewable energy requirement of 55-60 kWh/m2, which is around 20% less than the required standard. This means that our buildings already meet the future, stricter norms which are to be expected – adds Tomasz Szlązak.