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Building a house in Flanders? Expect 5% to 10% more cost

© Belga

People intending to have a house built in Flanders would do well to provide for a budget between 5% and 10% bigger than they first expected, according to new industry advice.

This is the advice, reported in the columns of De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws, being given by the small and medium-sized businesses in the construction sector meeting this Tuesday at the Bouwunie company. At issue are the tougher insulation standards coming into force in the north of the country from 2021.

Since 2018, all new homes in Flanders must satisfy two energy-saving standards: one relating to the building’s overall performance (E-peil) and the other stipulating the building envelope’s energy efficiency (S-peil). The second will be toughened up from January 1 2021. As a consequence, new houses will need to have extra solar protection, involving thicker glazing and costlier insulating materials.

According to the Bouwunie company, it will be therefore be necessary to budget for at least 5% more in order to build a house. “One contractor in four is even counting on an increase of 10%,” Jean-Pierre Waeytens, the organisation’s managing director confided on the basis of an opinion poll carried out among its members. That represents approximately 10,000 to 20,000 euro per house.

The CD&V wishes to review the restrictions imposed by the planned standards. The christian democrats also want to examine whether individual homes ought not to receive a more flexible S-peil than flats and semi-open buildings in which it is easier to satisfy the standards.

According to the Flemish minister for energy Zuhal Demir (N-VA), it has not yet been scientifically proven that detached houses cannot meet this tougher energy efficiency standard. She has ordered the Energy Agency to carry out a study on the subject as soon as possible.

The Brussels Times

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