Establishing energy performance for a building is vital for many reasons. With an increased awareness of the ways that wasted energy can negatively impact our environment and the need to design homes that optimise energy efficiency, these calculations give us a means to understanding how building materials and control measures work throughout the year. Here in the UK, our government uses SBEM – also known as the Simplified Building Energy Model. But what is it? And how can it help us meet the current legal requirements and gain Energy Performance Certificates?

What is SBEM?

The Simplified Building Energy Model is a method of analysing and calculating energy performance in non-domestic buildings. It is used to understand whether a building:

  • Has a BER (Building Emission Rate) less than the target emission rate – currently set at 23.5 – 28% below the total CO2 emission rate of a building.
  • Has features such as an up-to-date HVAC system, lighting systems or hot water optimised for energy efficiency.
  • Has methods in place to passively control temperature fluctuations during hotter months without putting additional pressure on energy-draining systems like air conditioning systems.

SBEM calculations are used to support the National Calculation Methodology (NCM) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPDB) – the EU’s main legislation to promote the improvement of energy performance in buildings.

SBEM Calculations Explained

SBEM is recorded as a calculation that takes into account some complex factors including the floor plan, elevations and site plan alongside the specification of your chosen heating and ventilation systems, any renewable technologies used and the u-value of openings. From this, and an analysis of the type of build, extension or conversion in place, a calculation is given that is then used to produce a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This document is a legal requirement when a building is being sold, rented or built in the first place. And, it will need to be made available from the point where the property is marketed out for sale or rent.

What Buildings Need an SBEM?

The Simplified Building Energy Model is designed for non-domestic properties only. It remains a legal requirement for:

  • Offices.
  • Retail units.
  • Schools.
  • Industrial units, etc…

The calculation will form part of the application for building control and must show complaints with the predicted BER (Building Emission Rate) too.

How Can Energimizer Help?

As experts in environmentally-friendly advanced combined heat and power systems from existing to new build projects, we’re here to help you identify HVAC solutions that can mean your property achieves a more efficient EPC rating. With renewable, low-carbon and sustainable energy-saving systems available for our end client, contact us today for more information.