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MINERGIE® - the Standards

MINERGIE® is a registered quality label for new and refurbished buildings. This trademark is supported by the Swiss Confederation, the Swiss cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein along with trade and industry. The trademark is firmly protected against unlicensed use.

Within the framework of the MINERGIE® registered trade mark, several products are offered:

1.1. Looking after the regular MINERGIE®-Standard

for buildings is MINERGIE®’s main activity. The standard requires that general energy consumption must not to be higher than 75 % of that of average buildings and that fossil-fuel consumption mustnot to be higher than 50 % of the consumption of such buildings.

1.2 The MINERGIE-P®-Standard

defines buildings with a very low energy consumption, it is especially demanding in regard to heating energy demand. This standard corresponds to the internationally-known passive house standard.

1.3 The MINERGIE-ECO®-Standard

adds ecological requirements such as recyclability, indoor air quality, noise protection etc. to the regular MINERGIE®-Requirements.

1.4 The MINERGIE-P-ECO®-Standard

This Standard combines the passive house standards and ecological requirements of both MINERGIE-P®-Standard and MINERGIE-Eco®-Standard. Buildings of this standard took part in the transnational comparison of instruments according to ecological evaluation of public buildings.

See also:

MINERGIE P-ECO in the transnational comparison


Detailed environmental label description:

Click on the picture on the right

Environmental label description Protocollo Itaca

1.5 MINERGIE®-Modules are building components

and building equipment elements which are certified as being exceptionally well-performing with regard to energy efficiency.

1.6 MINERGIE® offers a great variety

of information material, planning tools, seminars and conferences as well as training courses.

The following focusses on the regular MINERGIE®-Standard for domestic buildings. The detailed regulations (in German and French) can be downloaded free of charge from the MINERGIE® website.

Comfort is the central theme – the comfort of the users living or working in the building. This level of comfort is made possible by high-quality building envelopes and the systematic renewal of air. Specific energy consumption is used as the main indicator to quantify the required building quality. In this way, reliable evaluation can be assured. Only the final energy consumed is relevant. To maintain feasibility and general use the additional costs for MINERGIE® must not exceed 10 % of the building costs.

The MINERGIE®-Standard is widely accepted. There are many reasons for this, the most important being the objective-oriented approach: If builders and planners – in other words architects and engineers – can meet the standard, they have complete freedom both in their design and choice of materials and also in their choice of internal and external building structures. In 2007, 8.200 buildings with a total of more than 8.3 Million m2 gross floor area have been certified as MINERGIE®-Buildings.

Apart from general requirements such as a ventilation system and moderate extra costs, a detailed quantitative proof of energy performance (for heating, hot water, ventilation and air conditioning) has to be delivered. This proof is the core of the MINERGIE®-Certification process. The appropriate forms for all projects applying for a certificate are verified and random tests on the building sites are performed. The following table shows an example of the principles behind the proof of the data.

The Limiting Values of Energy Consumption

Insert Table1

Insert Table2

2.1 Explanations to the calculation

Heating energy (A): The heating energy demand is calculated according to SIA-Standard 380/1 which is based on EN ISO 13790 (formerly EN 832). The result has to be less than 60 % of the limiting value of SIA 380/1.

Freeware (in German) for simple houses and Swiss climatic conditions can be downloaded at: www.ur.ch/de/bd/afe/gebaeudebereich-m705/.

Heat recovery (B): The standard calculation according to SIA 380/1 does not take ventilation heat recovery into account. Hence this has to be done separately to get the effective heating demand (C).

Effective heating energy (D): The heating energy demand (useful energy) is divided by the conversion efficiency (in this case of the oil furnace), leading to the end use energy (E).

The energy weighting factor (F): The end use energy is multiplied by an energy weighting factor, leading to the weighted energy use for heating (G). The energy weighting factor for fossil energies is 1.

Hot water (H): The amount of energy consumption for hot water is given for single-family houses (14 kWh/m2), and for appartment-houses (21 kWh/m2). The same procedure using efficiency and energy weighting factor leads to the weighted energy demand for hot water (I). The energy weighting factor for electricity is 2 (reflecting the big share of hydropower in Switzerland).

Electricity for ventilation (K): The electricity consumption for ventilation is taken at the end use level and analogously processed to obtain the weighted energy demand.

Sum (L): The sum of all weighted energy demand components has to be compared to the limiting value, i.e. 38 kWh/m2 for residential buildings.

2.2 Notes and remarks

The energy demand and limiting values are given as specific values in kWh/(m2a) whereby the m2 represent the heated gross floor area, called the Energy Reference Area (ERA).

SIA 380/1 defines how to apply the energy balance algorithm for buildings, as defined in EN ISO 13790. In this way, any software referring to this European standard should deliver results comparable to those of SIA 380/1 and therefore be suitable as input data for MINERGIE® calculations.

The building stock is sectored into 12 categories with different uses. Some of them have differing limiting values and all of them have their own standardised input data, such as indoor air temperature, air change rate, specific electricity demand etc. For all categories, significantly less stringent limiting values exist for the MINERGIE® renovation standard (e.g. 60 kWh/m2 for residential buildings).

Whereas the requirements on the heating demand (60% of SIA 380/1-limiting value) is just a barrier to ensure that the MINERGIE®-Standard is not reached with regular insulation standard by technical means (heat pumps or renewables) only, MINERGIE-P® requires a very good insulation standard. Typically, the insulation thicknesses are around 20-25 cm for MINERGIE® and 25-35 cm for MINERGIE-P®.

There is a set of default values available which may be used. Better performance has to be proven. For example, it is easily possible to use less energy than the given value of 4 kWh/m2 for ventilation. But if so claimed, the technology used has to be defined and, also, installed.

The energy weighting factors represent a simplified approach for taking the conversion losses from primary to end use energy into account.

The example shown above obviously does not fulfil the MINERGIE®-Standard’s limiting value. Various measures can be taken to improve the building (project) in order to reach the MINERGIE®-Standard: For example the heating energy demand can be lowered by improving the insulation, part of the hot water can be produced with solar-thermal collectors and heating and hot water can be provided by a heat pump. The latter is illustrated in the following table.

Insert Table Insert Table

Standards and Solutions

In order to offer easy procedures to obtain MINERGIE®-Certification there is a possibility offered by the use of standardised solutions for buildings and building-technology equipment (limited to residential buildings). It is then sufficient to choose one of the five given accepted standard solutions for heating and hot water and to fulfil a few additional conditions.

The five standard solutions are:

  1. Ground-source heat pump for heating and hot water (all year).
  2. Wood-fired systems for heating and hot water in winter, thermal collectors for hot water in summer.
  3. Automatic wood-fired systems for heating and hot water (all year), e.g. pellet-furnace.
  4. Use of waste heat (industry, waste incineration and sewage treatment plants) for heating and hot water (all year as single source).
  5. Air-to-water heat pump (outside air) for heating and hot water (all year).

Additional conditions consist of:

A fan-assisted balanced ventilation system (or comfort ventilation system as it is called by MINERGIE®) with a heat recovery unit with an efficiency of at least 80% has to be installed. The ventilation has to be driven by a DC- or AC-motor.

A set of U-Values for the building envelope must not be exceeded, e.g. 0,2 W/m2K for walls, roof and floor, 1,0 W/m2K for windows and 1,2 W/m2K for doors.

Organisation and Implementation

MINERGIE® is a registered trade mark and therefore enjoys complete protection. The MINERGIE® label may only be used for buildings that actually meet the MINERGIE®-Standard. Apart from buildings, products and services can also conform to MINERGIE®-Standards. The same applies to building modules such as systems, components and materials. MINERGIE® is organised as an association and is registered in the Swiss Trade Register. A governing board of eight people is in charge of strategic decisions. There is a head office who is supported in operational decisions by the MINERGIE® Building Agency. The certification and all related contacts and support activities are executed by MINERGIE® Certification Units located at the administrations of the 26 Swiss cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Hence there is a decentralised system of implementation.

Further Information:

MINERGIE® is well documented on its website, though the information is only in German and French, www.minergie.ch. In particular, forms and tools for verification are offered for download free of charge.

The MINERGIE®-Charter 2008

A contribution to sustainable development

Both in Switzerland and worldwide, know-how on sustainable building spreads much too slowly. The MINERGIE®-Charter aims to strengthen important basic principles involved in building for the future. www.minergie.com

Both in Switzerland and worldwide, know-how on sustainable building spreads much too slowly. The MINERGIE®-Charter aims to strengthen important basic principles involved in building for the future.

5.1 Aims

The most important aims for the construction of sustainable buildings which help to protect our climate are:

  • Comfortable buildings that are also beneficial to health
  • High energy-efficiency and drastic reduction of the use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal
  • Inexpensive systems providing high long-term value of buildings

5.2 Environment

Excessive CO2 emissions are a significant cause of global warming. Climate change and the long-term availability of energy supply are two of the century’s greatest challenges.

Sustainable development takes place in three dimensions: it has to be socially, economically and environmentally compatible. Correspondingly, buildings have to be built, renovated and operated to comply with these three dimensions. A building constructed to meet the criteria of sustainability has a considerably higher value, even more so in the long run. By promoting appropriate regional products and services, the generation of local added value is achieved and the outflow of funds for imported energy is reduced.

5.3 Strategy

MINERGIE® − with its high standards − is a powerful driving force in the renovation of existing buildings and in the construction of new ones.

MINERGIE® provides recommendations on concepts for sustainable construction, renovation and operation of buildings.

MINERGIE® promotes regional markets for sustainable buildings, to create business opportunities for innovative builders, investors, enterprises and authorities. To this end, new products and services are continually being developed and put on the market.

5.4 Measures

Sustainable buildings in climates with hot and cold weather have a highly insulated, airtight building shell. This building shell is like a coat that completely encloses the heated or cooled interior. Thermal bridges and leaks are to be avoided. Solar irradiation is efficiently used by the inclusion of appropriate glazing elements. Adjustable shading systems guarantee the reduction of the energy demand for cooling in summer.


As far as interior air quality is concerned, heat-recovery ventilation allows a high level of user comfort during the whole year. The provision of fresh air is guaranteed and thus both comfortable and healthy conditions are assured − in particular as far as temperature, humidity, noise and pollutants are concerned.

Energy-efficient, simple and user-friendly building services guarantee low energy consumption for heating, cooling, hot water preparation, lighting and electrical equipment. The energy for heating and hot water preparation is mainly provided by renewable sources such as ambient heat, wood and the sun.

MINERGIE® buildings provide comfort, good health and inexpensive operation. Their users are living and working in a sustainable environment − be it in the office, in school or at home. www.minergie.com

Competence Centre Energy and Building

Energy-efficient buildings involve a range of aspects, making it important to consider the building as a system. This means not primarily considering and optimising individual components such as its envelope, technical systems and energy supply, but focusing on the system as a whole in order to optimise the relevant interactions. These often involve many aspects, making the system complex. To this end, the CC Energy and Building often relies on simulations as a means of devising solutions to the range of problems it encounters. These include thermal building simulations, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element methods. In addition, we operate the only Minergie-P® certification office in Germanspeaking Switzerland. Besides our role in the actual certification work, we are also involved in developing the standard: we offer a range of support services and professional development courses. Furthermore, we produce studies and expertises in the fields of building technology, energy, thermal comfort and building physics.

Lucerne University of
Applied Sciences and Arts
Engineering and Architecture
CC Energy and Building
Technikumstrasse 21
CH-6048 Horw

Building and Renewable Energies Network of Technology - brenet

brenet has been formed as a network of competencies in technology areas related to buildings and renewable energies. The network comprises Swiss university as well as industry partners.

brenet deals with buildings in a fully integrated manner considering all aspects of socio-economics and ecology. Our primary focus, however, concerns strategic challenges regarding sustainability, foremost energy and the environment.

berent is your professional partner in terms of applied research & development (R&D) as well as educational matters. Our clients comprise all sectors of the building industries, related expert associations an other groups operating in the energy and environment areas.

brenet is proud to focus on quality and leadership in education and R&D.

brenet’s core competencies concern the areas:

  • Optimisation of environmental performance of buildings (energy + ecology)
  • Innovation in building design, materials and construction methods
  • Building integration
  • Solar thermal as well as photovoltaic technologies & systems
  • Biomass
  • HVAC technologies for commercial and services buildings

brenet’s main actives include:

  • Transfer of know-how and technologies
  • Trouble-shooting for and in collaboration with SMEs
  • Certification of ultra-low-energy buildings (Minergie-P®)
  • Consulting and coaching related to building technologies and renewable energies
  • Conduct of complex fieldwork and laboratory testing
  • Primary as well as continuing education

The brenet partners maintain an exceptional degree of communication and collaboration among themselves and with their clients. Thanks to its broad basis of competencies and solid track-record as professional service organisation, brenet is proud to present itself as preferred innovation partner for your projects.

c/o Lucerne University of
Applied Sciences and Arts
Engineering and Architecture
Technikumstrasse 21
CH-6048 Horw