SBEM Calculations & EPC

SBEM Calculations : Government guide lines

To meet Part L2 of the Building Regulations (Section 6 in Scotland), nearly all new commercial buildings over 50m² must pass on completed SBEM calculations. And while some extensions, conversions and renovations will also need SBEM calculations, not all of Part L will apply to them.

SBEMs measure the overall energy efficiency of buildings, and are used to create the Energy Performance Certificate. To get a total figure, they measure heat loss through the building, available sunlight and air permeability, then combine this with the energy needed for heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation.

SBEM applies to commercial buildings including offices, hotels, pubs, sports halls and supermarkets. There are a few exemptions, such as some places of worship, temporary buildings and unheated units. We’re currently on SBEM2009, but this will be superseded by SBEM2012 in late 2013. Look even further ahead to 2019 and we’ll be using SBEM calculations to make sure all new-build commercial buildings are carbon neutral.

Firstly, all new commercial buildings need to be built to higher energy efficiency standards than ever. Without an SBEM assessment, you simply won’t be allowed to start work on site.

SBEM is used for non domestic buildings in support of the National Calculation Methodology (NCM), the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Green Deal.

The tool is currently used to determine CO2 emission rates for new buildings in compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) and equivalent Regulations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey. It is also used to generate Energy Performance Certificates for non-domestic buildings on construction and at the point of sale or rent.

SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) is a Government-defined process to demonstrate compliance with Part L2A of Building Regulations.

SBEM calculates the energy cost and carbon emissions generated to heat, light, ventilate, cool and provide hot water to a building, and should be applied from the design stage of the build process.

A SBEM is required at the ‘Design Stage’and at the ‘As-built’ stage.

Design Stage – Building Control will require the SBEM report along with your Building Regulations Application. Without the SBEM report, it is unlikely that your BCO/AI will allow building to commence.
As-built Stage – required when the building is completed. Without a relevant SBEM report and EPC, it is unlikely that the building will achieve Building Control approval.

Do I need an SBEM?

Yes, from April 2006 all new non-dwelling buildings require an SBEM Calculation.

Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates for your business premises, a guide from GOV.UK

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates how energy efficient your building is using grades from A to G (with ‘A’ the most efficient).

When you must have one

You must have an EPC when:

  • you rent out or sell your business premises
  • a building under construction is finished
  • a building is changed in any way that gives it more or fewer sections and those sections are for separate use and heated, air conditioned or mechanically ventilated

About Energy Performance Certificates

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required for every commercial building when it is constructed, sold or let. This certificate gives information about the energy efficiency of the building to owners, prospective buyers and tenants.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) sets out the energy efficiency grade of a commercial building. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required when a commercial building over 50m² is built, sold or rented. There are two grades of buildings under the EPC requirements which relate to the complexity of the building being assessed and will affect the type of EPC assessor you will need.

  • a simple building is one having “frequently occurring characteristics” such as simple heating systems,
    simple natural ventilation and small comfort cooling systems” — those which are very similar to domestic premises in the fabric and services present, such as a block of shops with flats above them. These buildings are commonly going to be assessed by a Level 3 assessors using SBEM but they can also be assessed by a Level 4 assessor using SBEM or even a Level 5 assessor using DSM.
  •  a complex building is one having advanced features which can be calculated using SBEM or DSM by a Level 4 or 5 assessor respectively. A Level 4 assessor using SBEM is expected to have experience of buildings in the commercial sector, which may have both fabric and services installations that are not found in domestic buildings, ie. any HVAC systems. A Level 5 assessor using DSM is expected to have experience of buildings in the commercial sector, which may have both fabric and services installations that are uncommon for which the asset rating is best measured using dynamic simulation.

EPCs are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy use to enable the energy efficiency of buildings of the same type to be compared. They are valid for ten years but must be renewed if modifications to the property are made.