SBEM Assessments

We undertake SBEM Assessments to show compliance with the Building Regulations (Approved Document L2A) for new commercial buildings. SBEM Assessments are sometimes called SBEM Calculations, SBEM Ratings or SBEM Certificates.

You will need to have an SBEM calculation completed if you are planning to construct a new commercial building. With strict emission targets to meet, getting the specification right on your development is more important now than ever.

It is from these calculations that an EPC is produced. SAP stands for Standard Assessment Procedure and it is used to assess and compare the energy and environmental performance of dwellings.

It is worth noting that SBEM assessments have been a legal requirement for all new-build commercial properties in the UK under Part L of Building Regulations since 1995. Homes must achieve a ‘Pass’ on these calculations for the project to pass Building Regulations. Without this, a property will not be signed off by Building Control and may not legally be listed for rent or sale.

At APT we carry out SBEM Calculations every day and by involving one of our trained consultants in the initial planning stages, we can help develop the project so that not only do you get the house you want, but that it meets all Building Regulation and environmental guidelines. 

It is worth noting that energy efficient building tends to hold and/or increase its value – because they are a sound long terms investment simply because they have a longer life expectancy than those that don’t, so own a sustainable building also makes good business sense.

If you require a SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for existing buildings or new builds, and our ten years of Building Control experience means that we always achieve compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing, Sound Testing and Noise Surveys so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SBEM) is a methodology introduced by the UK Government to assess and compare the energy and environmental performance of commercial buildings to make sure that any new developments will not only meet Building Regulations, but also overall energy and environmental policy initiatives.

The main aim is to assess how much energy a new development will consume, when delivering a defined level of comfort and service provision using standard assumptions for occupancy and behaviour.

SBEM, or Simplified Building Energy Model, is a calculation required for new, commercial or non-domestic buildings. The term ‘non-domestic’ refers to buildings such as:

  • Warehouses
  • Offices
  • Hotels
  • Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Leisure centres
  • Retirement homes

Basically any building that requires heating and lighting that isn’t a residential dwelling requires an SBEM Assessment. SBEM is essentially a calculation for modelling your design and checking compliance with CO2 targets.

The SBEM model is created at Design Stage using design drawings and is checked against building regulations (Approved Document Part L in England and Wales, and Technical Handbook Section 6 in Scotland). To show compliance on new builds, the Building Emission Rate must be equal to or better (lower) than the target.

An SBEM may also be required for existing buildings that are being extended or renovated. This process also standardises the assessments of dwelling energy performance so that like for like comparisons can be made nationwide.

If you require a SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for existing buildings or new builds, and our ten years of Building Control experience means that we always achieve compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

SBEM calculations are based on a wide range of factors such as the type of construction and energy balance of a new development.

The main items that contribute to energy efficiency are:

  • Thermal insulation of the building fabric
  • Materials used for the construction
  • Air leakage characteristics of the building, and performance of ventilation equipment
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • The fuel used to provide space and water heating, ventilation and lighting
  • Efficiency and control of the heating systems
  • Solar gains through openings in the building
  • Energy for space cooling

The calculation does not include individual characteristics of the household such as household size and heating patterns and temperatures. SBEM calculations can also determine fuel costs and the Environmental Impact Rating via the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

If you are unsure what information you need to provide for a SAP Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for existing buildings or new builds, and our ten years of Building Control experience means that we always achieve compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

Due to government guidelines the building industry are constantly looking towards building ‘greener’ and more sustainable developments, standards for energy efficiency are becoming higher and harder to pass. It is vital that any new building is well insulated and has the most efficient heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation systems – and this is where SBEM calculations are important.

SBEM is the Simplified Building Energy Model. This is a government approved methodology which is used to calculate the energy required to heat, cool, ventilate and light a non-residential building over a 12 month period when used under ‘normal” circumstances.

The amount of carbon dioxide the building emits is also calculated, before then assigning the building a numerical rating. The lower the rating, the more energy efficient the building is deemed to be. Under Part L of Building Regulations; commercial buildings must achieve a ‘Pass’ on these calculations for the project to pass Building Regulations.

Without this commercial buildings will not be signed off by Building Control and may not legally be listed for rent or sale which may cause big financial problems to the client and/or contractor.

As so many of the elements of the assessment are related to the construction of the development, it is strongly advised that SBEM calculations are considered at the design stage of the project in order to best inform architects, builders, surveyors and suppliers. Achieving a pass on the SBEM calculation can involve numerous important initial design decisions.

Alongside the regulatory aspect, there are other reasons why it is vitally important to consider your SBEM score long before project completion. Factors such as energy consumption and carbon output can be accurately predicted and the running costs of your building are minimalised from an early-stage professional SBEM assessment.

If you require a SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for your building to building control compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

Most of our projects are undertaken in approx. 1week; however for very large projects or if there is a substantial amount of information missing, this may be slightly longer. When we receive an enquiry off potential customers we also send across our informative checklist to help identify there required information, the more information we receive the quicker we can complete and forward the SBEM assessment.

If you require a SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for your commercial building.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SAP assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

Yes, a SBEM calculation or SAP Assessment are a requirement of Building Regulations Part L.

There are two stages to the assessment – design (required for permission to build) and ‘as-built’ which is required for a completion certificate and EPC to be issued at the end of the project.

The first stage is required to ensure your design meets Part L compliance before you start building. This is especially important in London, due to the London Plan’s stringent carbon targets where the GLA will typically require a 35% improvement over Part L for major developments.

It is recommended that the sooner you can have your design stage SBEM assessment carried out the better. SBEM calculations must be submitted to building control before works start on site at this stage it is called a design stage SBEM.

If you require a SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for existing buildings or new builds, and our ten years of Building Control experience means that we always achieve compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

It’s always best to reference Part L2B checklist to see if an SBEM is required; however if your extension is over 100m2 and/or extension is more than 25% of the total useful floor area of the existing building then you will usually need to carry our an SBEM Calculation.

The SBEM will demonstrate compliance with Approved Document Part L2A of the Building Regulations. The assessment will only apply to the extension, but may take account of heating and hot water systems within the existing building.

Other trigger that may require an SBEM for a non-domestic extension is the amount of area of glazing within the extension is in excess of those from Table 2 of Approved Document Part L2B of the Building Regulations.
If you require a SBEM Assessment or need some advice, please contact us now. We can provide the assessments needed for your commercial building.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SBEM assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.

1. Plans in CAD-DWG including general arrangement drawings, sections, elevations and site plan with north pointer.
2. U-value calculations for walls, roof, floor, windows, doors and skylights.
3. G-values for glazing
4. Confirmation if accredited construction details have been followed.
5. Air permeability target rate to be used for the calculations, while the APT is carried out.
6. Services drawings / specifications including:

  • Space Heating

    -Type, make, model and annual energy efficiency ratio
    -Separate metering?

  • Domestic Hot Water

    -Source, type, make, model and annual energy efficiency ratio?
    -If secondary circulation:

    a. Storage losses (MJ/month)
    b. Loop length (m)
    c. Distribution losses (W/m)
    d. Pump power
    e. Is the pump variable speed with time control?

  • Ventilation details

    -MVHR?  In all rooms? Please confirm. If so please provide:

    a. Efficiency?
    b. Ductwork CEN leakage classification (Class D?)
    c. AHU CEN leakage standard (Class L1?)
    d. AHU Specific Fan Power W/l/s
    e. Specific Fan Power for each room W/l/s
    f. Exhaust rate per room l/s/m2

    -Is mechanical exhaust present in all rooms? Which ones?

    a. Supply rate per room l/s/m2 (if any)
    b. Is mechanical air supply present in all rooms? Which ones?

  • Cooling (if any)

    a. Generator type
    b. kW
    c. Energy Efficiency Ratio
    d. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

  • Lighting and Controls

    a. Lamp types per room.
    b. Is lighting separately metered?
    c. Controls? PIR ? Daylight Sensors?
    d. NOTE: If Part L2A criterion 1 fails we will need the following calculations by an accredited expert:

    -Target Lux levels per room
    -Power density W/m2

  • Renewables (if any)

    a. Solar Hot water
    b. Collector type, Orientation, Pitch, Any over shading (indicated on site layout), Gross / nett area, Zero loss
    c. Collector efficiency Heat loss co efficient of collector, dedicated volume of solar store if present, electrical
    d. Power supply of solar pump (mains / PV)
    e. PV – Installed Peak Power kWp , Orientation, Pitch, any over-shading
    f. Wind Turbines – Number, Rotor diameter, Average wind speed, Height above

If you have an unusual project that requires an SBEM Assessment please contact us now, we can provide the assessments needed for existing buildings or new builds, and our ten years of Building Control experience means that we can usually achieve compliance.

We can also undertake the Air Tightness Testing and Sound Testing so your SAP assessments and precompletion testing can be placed in one package.