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European Union ministers are to be asked to approve new EU construction standards, with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of new and renovated buildings (above 1,500m 2), by up to 22 per cent by 2010. The directive would order the development of common methodologies for integrated minimum energy performance standards by member states for each building type.

These methodologies would take into account climatic differences and would cover insulation, heating, ventilation, lighting, orientation, heat recovery and renewable energy sources. The directive would also provide for the creation of energy performance certificates, which would include advice on how to maximize a building's energy efficiency.

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