Energycount | Dorset Sustainability & Energy Consultants | SAP Calculations | Part L Reports
Energycount | Dorset Sustainability & Energy Consultants | SAP Calculations | Part L Reports
Energycount | Dorset Sustainability & Energy Consultants | SAP Calculations | Part L Reports
Energy & Sustainability Reports to help you
comply with Building Regulations and Planning requirements.

FAQs


Energy Assessments

I just want to build something – why do I care about energy and carbon?

Over 40% of energy use in the EU is directly attributable to the operation of buildings, and 44% of UK carbon emissions come from buildings. Therefore addressing energy use and emissions in buildings is absolutely key in meeting our local and global commitments in lowering CO2 levels. In the UK our building regs and planning policy ensure that we design and deliver buildings that are

not only good for our environment today but will continue to be for decades into the future too.

How long does it take to carry out my Energy Assessment?

For typical building regs reporting, we aim to provide a 10-15 working day turnaround from the time of receiving all of your information and plans. Obviously this can vary if there are multiple dwellings to be assessed. If you need things done very urgently then just take up our Fast Track service, where we will guarantee to get things done in 48 hours.

What Information do I need to send you?

We require your plans and a specification for the build outlining the building services and construction. Plans need to include a site plan, floor plans, elevations and sections.

What format can I send my plans in?

We can work with almost any format as long as the drawings are to scale, or have a scale bar to measure from. We normally work with .dwg (CAD drawings) or .pdf files. We can also accept paper plans when necessary.

How will I receive my reports?

Following feedback from our clients and building control, we now send all reports and EPC’s in PDF format by email. If you do not have email access we can send a hardcopy version for a small fee.

I need EPCs for my scheme – but someone else did my SAP/SBEM assessment at design stage

Often clients have had design stage calculations carried out some time previously, but they may have lost contact with that assessor, or that assessor may not be qualified to issue EPC’s. For audit purposes it is unfortunately not possible for us to use someone else’s work and a new assessment will need to be carried out. We can then issue final reporting and EPC’s which are compliant and provide building control with everything they need.

What is a U-value?

U-values measure how effective a construction is at insulating. The U-value refers to the rate of heat transfer through a structure, and is measured in W/m2K. A lower U-value means a better thermal performance (less heat transfer). A U-value of a structure depends on the thermal resistance of each of the elements inside it, with most of the thermal resistance being provided by insulation.

Can I just tell you the U-value?

As assessors we have to make sure that what you build onsite is an accurate reflection of the design. Therefore just providing a U-value at design stage is not enough information. We can either help you to create a full U-value calculation or take a calculation from another source. Full U-value calculations are also required as evidence at as-built stage.

How do I get a U-value calculation?

Insulation manufacturers like Kingspan and Celotex usually provide online U-value calculations involving their products for free, or contact their technical services department to find out. Alternatively your SAP or SBEM assessor should be able to calculate them for you as part of their service.

What are SAP Calculations?

SAP Calculations do 3 things:

  1. They determine a SAP Rating (the energy related running costs of a dwelling)
  2. They demonstrate compliance with Part L of the building regs
  3. They are used to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
SAP calculations are a requirement of the Building Regulations, and are required for all newly built dwellings in the UK.

What is TFEE?

TFEE stands for 'Target Fabric Energy Efficiency'. This is a target set for new build homes which looks specifically at the energy efficiency of the construction and the effects of air tightness and cold bridging. TFEE is measured in kWh/m2 per year. For more information see Fabric Energy Efficiency .

We just need an EPC, why do we need a SAP too?

A SAP assessment involves modelling the shape and size of a new building along with its energy use. It’s this modelling of the building that provides the figures used on the EPC. Therefore, an EPC cannot be produced without completing a SAP assessment.

Why do I need a SAP assessment for an extension?

One of the Building Regulations requirements for extensions is that the overall increase in openings (windows, doors, rooflights) is limited to 25% of the increase in floor area. This is because windows etc. usually have more heat loss than a wall, for example. It is however possible to demonstrate that an excessive area of openings has been compensated for elsewhere in the design – and SAP Calculations are one way of achieving this.

I’ve finished my build – why do I need design stage calculations?

If the assessor completing the as-built calculation did not also produce the design stage calculation, they will not have the SAP file available and therefore must measure the building themselves. Even if the assessor has the file available, they cannot reuse this for audit reasons. Because we always need to model a building, you will find that fees for SAP assessments are the same/similar whether this includes design stage assessments or not.

How do I get my EPC?

The final stage in the SAP Assessment process (for residential projects) is the issue of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is sometimes referred too as the SAP EPC.

 

SBEM Assessment

What is SBEM?

SBEM is a method of assessing the energy performance of a non-domestic building. It is used to do two things:

  1. To demonstrate compliance with Part L of the building regs
  2. To produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An SBEM calculation provides an output in the form of a 'BRUKL' report, which is required by building control prior to development commencing. For more information see What is SBEM and why use it?

 

Air Permeability Testing

Sometimes called 'Air Tightness Testing' or 'Air Pressure Testing'

When do I need to arrange my air test?

Although it is possible to have diagnostic testing carried out at any stage, final testing should take place as late as possible, ideally when the build is complete. We always aim to provide a test date within 2 weeks of the request. We can often fit in urgent tests if required.

Is my build ready for an air test?

You need to ensure the building envelope is complete. All glazing, external doors and cladding should be complete. Light fixtures and sockets must be fitted, any penetration through the external walls and ceiling, i.e SVP and waste pipes, should be sealed. If you would prefer, we can send you a full checklist to run through. For much more help see our Making your building airtight page.

Do I need to seal anything prior to the test?

All features which are designed for ventilation purposes should be closed or sealed, these include: extract vents, extract fans, window trickle vents, air conditioning ducts, and chimneys. All toilets, basins, and other wet drain areas must contain water to ensure a seal is made between the internal building space and sewerage system. Please do not tape or cover over anything else, as the engineer will have to remove it.

How long does it take?

We are typically onsite for approximately one hour. We always try to leave time for a retest should it be required and small remedial works can be carried out.

 

Part E Sound Testing

Also called 'Acoustic Testing' or just, 'Sound Testing'

Can other trades be on site whilst testing?

Our equipment is very sensitive to noise. Any noise not associated with the sound test can affect the test results, resulting in uneccesary failure. The ideal solution is for all activity to be suspended in the test building whilst testing is carried out (around 1-2 hours for a typical set of tests).

Is my build ready for testing?

Rooms should be available in pairs, either vertically (separated by a party floor), or horizontally (separated by a party wall). They should be complete but unfurnished. This means:

  • All wall and ceiling surfaces must be complete and skimmed
  • Skirting boards, architraves and covings to be fitted
  • All kitchen units in place
  • Electrical sockets and switches to be in place
  • Windows fitted and fully closeable with fully working trickle vents
  • Internal doors in place and fully closeable.
  • External doors to flats and houses to be fitted

What about floors?

Carpets and laminates should not be fitted as impact testing should take place on a bare floor, i.e. directly on the surface of the chipboard floating floor, or on the surface of the concrete floating screed. We will have to lift and roll back 75% of any carpet if it is laid.

 


 

Need Help With Your Project?

Just give us a call on 01202 623236, or send us a message here.

 


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