29th June 2016

How to achieve the best possible results in SBEM

Part L2a of the Building Regulations sets the requirements for all new commercial developments when it comes to how efficient they must be.

1. Complete early
Complete your SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) early in the design process. Completing before the build starts will ensure that there are no nasty surprises when the development line continues.

2. Build low-U-values

It may seem simple, but it’s worth highlighting: the lower the U value, the less heat will escape. By lowering the U-values, a more economical heating demand for development is likely.

3. Build the most airtight as possible

As with the above, the more airtight a property is the fewer heat flows, leading to lower heating demand.

4. Avoid using electrical panel heaters

Grid electricity is associated with an extremely high CO2 emission rate – just think of all the processes that need to be done to produce electricity and deliver it to the property. Having electric panel heaters makes it incredibly challenging to meet the requirements.

5. Consider ventilation and cooling

Try to ventilate and cool buildings with passive design methods. If cooling is required, consider minimising glazing on façades facing south. You could also choose a high spec solar control glazing to limit the amount of solar gain and then reduce the air conditioning load.

6. Use low-wattage lighting

“Low wattage lighting design” means a design that uses about 5-8 watts per square metre. Also remember to give the lighting design to the assessor, as this will say they don’t have to assign the default figure to this area, something that won’t give the project the credit it needs in terms of the lighting used.

7. Consider daylight controls

One excellent idea when building energy efficiency is to use daylight sensing controls. These automatically dim the lights when a room has adequate daylight. These are suitable for high-occupancy rooms and large glazing areas. Motion sensing PIR controls could also be in places with low transient occupancies like toilets and storage rooms.

8. Keep your ventilation system highly efficient

Aim for low specific fan and high heat recovery efficiencies. Also, ensuring that any ducting is leak-free is essential.

9. Improve your hot-water storage system

If you have a hot water storage system, you should keep to a minimum the amount of heat lost. Choose a well-insulated hot water cylinder with low heat losses.

10. Call the experts

If you have concerns about SBEM calculations, contact Briary Energy today. We ‘re not just a company that inputs your details and leaves you with a problem unless it ‘passes.’ We advise, consult, encourage, and always bring our considerable experience to help you save money on your build.

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