What are SBEM Calculations?

What are SBEM Calculations?

As the building industry are constantly looking towards building ‘greener’ and more sustainable developments, standards for energy efficiency are becoming higher. 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.

When are SBEM calculations needed?

There are a number of different types of commercial buildings that do need an SBEM calculation, from new builds over 50 metres squared to extensions and refurbishments too, including:

  • Offices

  • Warehouses

  • Retail units

  • Restaurants

  • Leisure centres

  • Retirement homes

However, there are some exceptions where SBEMs may be not be required, such as places of worship and unheated buildings. If you are unsure as to whether your new development will need to undertake this assessment, contact us at Energytest.

At what stage do you need these assessments?

These calculations are vital to illustrate the building’s compliance with Part L (England & Wales), Document F (Northern Ireland) and Section 6 (Scotland) of the Building Regulations.

It’s important to carry out SBEM calculations prior to the commencement of building works; delaying this could prove costly for the whole project as it is possible you won’t be permitted to begin work on site. The sooner the process is started, the more time there is to resolve any problems before the building process begins.

At Energytest we work on SBEM calculations every day and by involving one of our trained consultants in the initial design stages, we can help you develop your project successfully to meet the correct Building Regulations and avoid any unwanted and costly delays.