Knowing when it is necessary to use SAP, SBEM and EPCs

When it comes to Building Regulation, knowing when it is necessary to use SAP, SBEM and EPCs is important.

At the heart of the building regulations process lies a few key calculation tools – Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) and Dynamic Simulation Model (DSM). These are used for estimating carbon dioxide emissions in order to meet Part L of the Building Regulations. They also generate Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

When do I need an EPC?

You need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you are selling or letting a property in the UK.

An EPC is required by law and provides information on the energy efficiency of a property, as well as recommendations for improving its energy performance.

The certificate rates the property on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. It is important to have an EPC as it can help potential buyers or tenants make informed decisions about the energy costs associated with the property, and you could face financial penalties if you fail to provide one.

Do I Need SAP or SBEM?

SAP and SBEM are frequently used for verifying the Building Regulations’ requirement of a CO2 calculation. The newest residential and commercial buildings must meet the Target Emission Rate, which is determined by a specialised model.

This is to ensure consistency with Part L1A (for dwellings) and Part L2A (non-dwellings) of Building Regulations which are calculated by using a specific modelling tool.

These software tools also offer assessments concerning other aspects of Building Regulations such as limiting standards for fabric and building services, plus compliance with issues like overheating/solar gain.

With helpful guidance from our team of professionals, we can ensure your project meets all necessary regulations in an informed yet friendly manner.

Existing Buildings

When building an extension to a non-dwelling, it must comply with carbon emission requirements and other L2A regulations. To be considered a ‘large’ extension, the total useful floor area must exceed 100 m2 and exceed 25% of the existing building’s total useful floor area. Attached new-build dwellings are still classified as a new build and therefore must meet L1A standards.

For work on existing buildings, these minimum standards for openings, fabric, and services must be met. However, if you can demonstrate that any additional CO2 created is compensated for elsewhere – via a relevant calculation tool – then you won’t have to adhere to every standard in its entirety.

This is particularly common when extending dwellings over the 25% opening rule limit!
Are any buildings exempt from EPCs and Part L of the Building Regulations

There are certain types of buildings that are exempt from having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and complying with Part L of the Building Regulations.

These include:

  1. Buildings used for religious worship
  2. Stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 square meters
  3. Industrial sites, workshops, and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
  4. Buildings due to be demolished within two years
  5. Buildings that are designated as being of architectural and historical interest and where compliance with certain energy efficiency requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance
  6. Some temporary buildings with a planned use of 2 years or less

However, it’s worth noting that some of these exemptions may not apply in certain circumstances and it’s important to seek professional advice if you’re unsure.

Additionally, exemptions do not mean that the building should not be designed and constructed to be energy-efficient.

In conclusion, knowing when it is necessary to use SAP, SBEM and EPCs is important so you can be aware of the Building Regulations and their impact on your building project. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Part L of the Building Regulations are designed to ensure that buildings are energy efficient.

Although some buildings may be exempt from these requirements, it is best to check with an expert before beginning any project.

Get a quote today and make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations!

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Post written by: Sam Guest

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