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Substantial PV cost-savings thanks to tailored solutions from Energist

27 Jun 2019


The challenge

With such a focus on the energy efficiency of new buildings, quite often the design of buildings is pushed to such a level that it’s not viable to improve it further. When this happens, the focus turns to better building services, and towards installing low carbon and renewable technology. This is certainly the case in our cities, where planning conditions often stipulate that energy needs to be generated on site.

When CAMM Architects were involved in the design of a new classroom building in Harlow, they were requested to provide a large photovoltaic array on the roof costing approximately £36,000. With Energist on board to complete the SBEM Calculation, Aaron Perry in our Technical Team reviewed their specification and looked at several alternative solutions in a bid to reduce the amount of PV panels by improving details elsewhere in the build.

The solution

After reviewing the building fabric and services, Aaron created a solution which didn’t just tick all the boxes in terms of Part L compliance, but managed to achieve this with just half of the PV panels originally suggested. This recommendation gave the developer a saving of £18,000. The alternative improvement options cost a fraction of this.

The result

Project Architect Paul Young said: “CAMM Architects are delighted that the scheme achieves the targeted efficiency. We aim to provide as much information on U-Values and plant to enable a robust calculation to be carried out.

“The calculations were returned within days of the acceptance being signed. This allowed us time to complete the design information without any lengthy delays.”

 “We have an ongoing relationship with Energist. We like the way we can talk through the proposals with them that results in a robust proposal that will give our clients the confidence that the project is as efficient as it can be.”

This isn’t a unique story at Energist. On a daily basis our Technical Team are looking at options for changing design specifications in SAP and SBEM calculations to find the perfect balance between meeting the mandatory Target Emission Rate (TER) while not breaking the bank. We understand that renewable options aren’t liked by everyone, but sometimes it’s an unavoidable part of today’s construction targets. On large scale developments the installation of PV panels can be substantial.

It makes sense to work with a Part L company that has experience and knowledge of what things cost in the real world, and knows when certain options simply aren’t viable. If you have a sticky situation with meeting Part L requirements, or you have a planning requirement which is pushing your budget, contact us to see how we can help you.