SBEM Calculations stands for Simplified Building Energy Mode and is used to assess energy in non-residential buildings. These calculations prove that the building conforms to the regulations laid down in Building Regulations Approved Document L2A. It does this by comparing the designed Building Emission Rate (BER) with the Target Emission Rate (TER).
Essentially, SBEM calculations are like SAP calculations, but for non-residential premises. They calculate the amount of energy used by a building, through things like heating, air conditioning and lighting. The amount of carbon dioxide the building emits is also calculated, before then assigning the building a rating between 1 and 100. The closer to 100 the rating is, the more energy efficient the building is deemed to be. A BRUKL certificate is then issued, and if the project meets the requirements it will have passed Building Regulations Part L.
There are a number of different types of buildings that will need an SBEM calculation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Shopping centres
- Retail units
- Leisure centres
- Retirement homes
SBEM assessment can be needed for new builds, extensions and refurbishments too. There are some exceptions where SBEMs may be not be required, such as places of worship and unheated buildings. Please feel free to contact us today for more information on this.
UKBC work hard to provide cutsomers with knowlegde and advise before we undertake any work. Below are some Q&A’s that you may find useful.
Who Needs an SBEM Assessment?
An SBEM assessment is now a mandatory requirement for all new commercial premises with a size of over 50m2. It can also sometimes be the case that an extension or a renovation will nee an SBEM assessment too, although this varies from situation to situation. If you’re are having either of these, we advise you to call us as soon as possible so we can advise you on your specific case.
What Needs to Be Provided to Complete an SBEM Assessment?
A complete set of architectural drawings (floor plans, sections, elevations and site plan).
An architect’s specification or if you don’t have one, a completed data collection sheet.
When Should an SBEM Assessment be Carried Out?
An SBEM assessment comes in two parts. The first part is the design stage SBEM assessment, which needs to be completed before the construction starts. It is important to start the process well in advance, so that there is time to resolve any problems before the building process begins. When this process has been carried out and the building passes the regulations laid down in Part L, the construction can begin (providing the local authority doesn’t need any other assessments carried out, such as BREEAM).
When the building is completed, the second stage of the SBEM assessment is carried out. This is called an as-built SBEM and will also include the results of an air permeability test (If completed). An Energy Performance Certificate is then issued.
How is a New Build SBEM Calculation Worked Out?
Every building will have a target emission rate (TER) which is based on a number of different factors. This is the benchmark that the building has to comply with – if it doesn’t it will not pass the regulations laid down in Part L.
To ascertain whether the building meets the standard required, we produce a building emission rate (BER). In order to pass, the BER must be of an equal or lower amount to the TER, therefore showing that the emissions are lower than the target. TER is derived from the building model using building regulations notional values, while DER uses actual values and compares the proposed plans against building regulations standards.
What Can Be Done to Ensure a Pass?
There are a number of things that should be thought about at design stage, prior to the SBEM assessment beginning, in order to give the best chance of getting a good result.
- Ensuring that the lighting is as energy efficient as possible.
- Making sure that the house is insulated well and that no heat is escaping through walls or the ceiling.
- Ensuring that the air conditioning is appropriate for the size of the dwelling.
- Making sure the heating is also suitable for the size of building it will be heating.
- Installing ventilation that is effective.
There are, of course, many other factors to consider as well. For a comprehensive discussion on this, call us today.
What Happens if the Building Doesn’t Pass?
When we complete an SBEM assessment, we are obligated to provide a fair and accurate representation, therefore it is sometimes the case that we have to say a building does not meet the requirements laid down in Part L of Building Regulations. If this does happen, there is no need to panic though, as we will help to advise on any problems and get your project back on track.
When some companies complete an SBEM assessment, they only provide the results and fail to tell the client the exact reasons why the building has not met the requirements. At UK Building Compliance though, we will provide you with the reasons and also supply you with a number of different ways in which you can adjust the plans to get the SBEM calculations to produce the right result. We will then complete another SBEM assessment for you.
How Can CO2 Emissions Be Lowered?
The amount of CO2 emissions from a building also contributes towards the overall score given in the SBEM assessment, so it is important to make sure these are kept to a minimum. The way that the building’s energy is gained is the main factor in these calculations.
Different power supplies have different ratings, and these will impact heavily on the building’s overall score. For example, a building running solely on grid supplied electricity will have a high overall score (0.517KgCO2/kWh), while a building using biomass will have a very low score (0.013KgCO2/kWh). Therefore, it is important to choose the most efficient option possible. It is also increasingly common for two different fuel types to be used, with biomass being used with a gas backup, for example.
Why Choose Us?
At UK Building Compliance, we are incredibly proud of the service we have offered to our many clients. Our clients rate our service as excellent and who return for a wide variety of services. . With a keen eye for detail and an unerring commitment to customer service, we know that we are the best in the business when it comes to SBEM assessments.
Reasons to use us include:
- We have many years of experience in SBEM calculations, meaning that the job will be done accurately and within a deadline, therefore ensuring your project stays on schedule.
- We can offer unbiased advice on ways to make the building more energy efficient, regardless of whether the building passes the Part L criteria or not. The advice will also be cost effective, therefore saving you money.
- Our staff are fully trained and equipped to carry out all work, all the while keeping you informed of the progress being made.
There are, of course, many other reasons to use UK Building Compliance as well. You’ll find more information regarding us in the “About Us” section of this website.
Other Services to Consider
We also offer a number of other different services, some of which might be of use to you if you require air pressure testing. These services are:
- SAP Assessments – required by every new dwelling, in order to ensure that it satisfies requirements pertaining to environmental impact.
- SBEM Assessments – similar to SAP assessments, however they are for non-dwellings.
- Domestic EPCs – these must be issued to every new dwelling, or any dwelling about to be sold.
- Commercial EPCs – these must be issued to any commercial building upon completion or when it is being sold.
- Display Energy Certificates – these must be displayed in all public buildings, to show visitors how energy efficient the building is.
- Ventilation Testing – this ensures that a building’s ventilation is efficient and effective.
- U Value Calculations – these show how much heat is lost through different materials used in the construction of a building.