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  • SBEM
    SBEM Calculations

Commercial Services / SBEM Calculations

Simplified Building Energy Model or SBEM is the government’s preferred method of energy assessment for non-domestic buildings and is used to demonstrate compliance with Building Regulations Approved Document L2A.

For new buildings an initial SBEM assessment is carried out at design stage to confirm that specifications such as insulations, heating, lighting and air conditioning systems are suitable. When the construction of the building is complete an as built SBEM assessment is produced and an Energy Performance Certificate produced.

Here are some points to consider before making a choice of Energy Assessor:

  • We provide a full consultation service as standard – all the advice and support you need to ensure you meet the required level of performance.
  • Design Stage and As Built Calculations as well as Energy Performance Certificates are included in our standard service – there are no hidden extras!
  • Calculations are carried out by accredited and experienced construction professionals – providing cost effective and practical solutions.
  • We have a track record of providing advice to clients that saves thousands of pounds - you can be sure we’re providing solutions that work for you.

Call now to get a quote or discuss your project with one of our Energy Assessors.

What is SBEM?

The Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is a government approved calculation tool that provides an analysis of a building's energy consumption.

SBEM calculates the energy cost and carbon emissions generated to heat, light, ventilate, cool and provide hot water to a building. SBEM calculations are also used to show compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations, and should be applied from the design stage of the build process.

Why is an SBEM Calculation required?

Building Regulations Part L2A 2013, implemented in April 2014, presents far greater challenges for new commercial buildings.  The main changes from the 2010 edition are:

  • The notional building used to determine carbon dioxide targets is the same size and shape as the actual building, constructed to a concurrent specification. The Part L 2013 specifications have been strengthened to deliver 9 per cent carbon dioxide savings across the new non-domestic building mix relative to Part L 2010.
  • A wider set of notional buildings has now been defined for top-lit, side-lit (heated only) and side-lit (heated and cooled) buildings. The notional building air permeability has been further subdivided by size.
  • A summary of the Part L 2013 notional buildings is published at Table 5 in the approved document with the full detail in the National Calculation Methodology (NCM) modelling guide
  • If the actual building is constructed entirely to the notional building specifications it will meet the carbon dioxide targets and the limiting fabric and buildings services parameters. Developers are, however, free to vary the specification, provided the same overall level of carbon dioxide emissions is achieved or bettered.
  • The document consolidates the amendments made in December 2012 requiring the feasibility of high-efficiency alternative systems to be taken into account before construction commences.

The challenge to meet these standards falls to all parties involved in new build non-residential development including developers, architects, building services engineers and contractors. Without a consistent and integrated approach towards compliance, the likelihood of failing to meet these standards is significantly greater and it is likely that either cost or delay will be incurred within any project.

What types of building require SBEM Calculations?
What types of building require SBEM Calculations?

SBEM Calculations are a mandatory requirement for any heated, new commercial building exceeding 50m2 floor area for example:

  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Places of work i.e. offices, warehouses
  • Leisure Centres
  • Care Homes
  • Community Buildings
What does the SBEM involve?

There are 2 stages in acquiring an SBEM Calculation. The first stage is named the 'Design stage SBEM', which must be completed and submitted to the Building Control Officer or Approved Inspector at the same time as your building control application. The second stage is the 'As Built SBEM' stage, this will come into force on completion and a 'Pass' certificate will have to be produced to the Inspector. In most cases on completion an Energy Performance Certificate will also be required as well as the SBEM to complete the process.

Until the introduction of Part L 2010 Regulations the ‘Design Stage SBEM’ was not a compulsory requirement. This is no longer the case and SBEM Calculations now need to be provided to Building Control prior to commencement on site.

What happens if my building fails the SBEM assessment?

Our assessors will be happy to provide you with a free consultancy service, advising you of all necessary amendments to ensure every building achieves a pass.

Why choose us to complete your SBEM Calculations?

Our Energy Assessors undertake the SBEM Calculations from the plans and specifications you provide. We have also developed a simple checklist so you understand exactly what information we require. These factors ensure we can provide you with full SBEM calculations within 3-5 days of receiving the information. All customers benefit from a full consultation service to ensure you achieve the performance levels you need for either Building Regulations or BREEAM.

Because our Energy Assessors are dealing with a range of customers we have a constantly expanding knowledge of the latest technologies and innovations. This knowledge is passed on to our customers, ensuring that you have access to the best advice and can achieve the desired results while keeping costs to a minimum.

Our quoted prices for SBEM Calculations include the production of the Energy Performance Certificates; required by the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Some SBEM Assessors will only include the cost of the SBEM Calculation in their quotation and may charge an additional fee for producing Energy Performance Certificates.

What affects the CO2 emission rate of a building?

Focusing on factors that affect the CO2 emission rate of a building can ensure improvements in the SBEM result. These improvements also offer potential savings in running costs:

  • The level of thermal insulation included within the building envelope;
  • The air tightness of the building and the characteristics of its ventilation equipment;
  • The efficiency and controls of the heating system(s);
  • The efficiency and controls of the lighting;
  • Solar gains through openings within the building envelope;
  • The inclusion of low or zero carbon technologies, such as photovoltaics, ground source heat pumps and combined heat.
What do I need to provide to the SBEM assessor?
  • Floor plans, elevation and section drawings;
  • Construction specification;
  • Mechanical and electrical specification; and
  • Site layout and location plan.
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PB Sustainability Ltd.

Office 64
The Old School
Wallasey, Wirral
Merseyside
CH44 5TN