Raising the Bar: Perfect Time to Introduce Super E Standard in Korea
The Korean Government set to meet Passive House standard by 2017 and Zero Energy House by 2025
It is estimated that buildings account for about 40% of all energy consumption in advanced countries and about 22 % in Korea (2010). The Korea’s smaller ratio does not mean Korean buildings are more energy efficient, in fact, they consume more energy than those of Europe or Japan when compared in per unit area. And the Korean Government, in order to minimize impacts of greenhouse gas reduction for industrial sector, is focusing on building sector by setting goals of meeting Passive House standards by 2017 and mandating Zero Energy House from 2025.
In order to achieve the goals, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) has been revising the Energy Conservation Design Standard for Buildings almost every year since 2010, and every revision aims to bring about 25~30% improvement in energy efficiency of buildings. The latest revision, announced in December 2012 for public opinion gathering and will become effective in mid- 2013, is no exception.
This means that one of the most important benefits of wood frame houses, the better performance in insulation, is at risk. For example, 2X6 exterior walls with R-19 insulation gives consumers about 20% more than the code requirements in terms of insulation thickness. However, the new standard will require 160 mm thick Grade C insulation and builders have to install higher grade insulation or additional layer of insulation.
Given the situation and the Government’s comprehensive efforts in promotion of Green Buildings, it is good time to introduce Super E program in Korea to lead the wood frame construction to the next level in energy efficiency and healthy indoor environment.