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Infographic: Which energy and sustainability services do I need?

We like to make things simple at Energist and one of our key objectives is to take our highly specialised segment of the construction industry and make it accessible for all.

With that in mind, we have launched our new Services Wheel. This infographic clearly sets out the main services we can offer you, along with a guide to when we’d expect to get involved.

 
The Wheel has been split into five sections:
 

1. Planning

Starting at the planning stage, which covers RIBA Stages 0-3, this is where we can get the ball rolling with a lot of our services. Planning requirements vary depending on the type of development and where you are in the UK, but as a rule, if the planning condition is linked to sustainability, we are available to help.

  • A common request for non-residential and mixed use developments is BREEAM. This assessment runs the full course from the early days of planning into post completion. The more effort you put into BREEAM in the first few months, the easier it should get as construction gets underway.
  • Commissioning an Ecological Survey might feature as part of your BREEAM, or planners may treat this as a separate request; especially if you intend to build in an area that might be of ecological value.
  • Another popular request from planners is to request an Energy Statement. This sets out how your site has been designed to reduce energy, and also looks at steps you’re taking to generate your own energy on site. There is a London specific version which sets stricter targets and includes carbon offset payments. We create a sample set of SAP and SBEM models as part of this analysis.
  • Apartment blocks in densely populated areas will often need to have Thermal Modelling completed. This detailed analysis predicts the internal temperatures during the summer months. Our technical team can offer advice to help reduce these temperatures through passive measures. Again, this is more regularly asked for by planners in London where overheating dwellings are a key focus moving forward.
  • If there are concerns that your proposed development may shadow other buildings, the planning department may ask you to commission a Sunlight and Daylight Impact Assessment. This modelling exercise produces before and after versions to test how much sunlight would be blocked to your neighbours.
  • We can also offer Acoustic Advice should your planners have concerns over nearby noise (such as railways or motorways). You can commission site surveys that monitor background noise and vibration; the results can then be taken into consideration when you are putting the specification together.

2. Design

As your development progresses into the Design stage, we can help you show Building Regulations compliance.

  • Every new dwelling needs to have a SAP calculation completed. This calculation works out the expected emission rate of each building and compares that to a Government set target.

    Our team of accredited SAP specialists will ensure your development fully complies, will offer multiple options for making improvements if they are needed, and will value engineer your specification to ensure you are not overspending.
  • Similarly, all non-domestic buildings require an SBEM calculation. We can produce compliant reports for you, and offer advice where it’s needed.
  • Where developers are using the same specification on multiple sites, or have created a completely unique specification for their buildings, they often benefit from having Thermal Bridging assessments completed. By creating detailed modelling of the building’s common junctions, we can pinpoint any areas of excessive heat loss, and make recommendations to remedy this. These models can also be used to assess the risk of surface condensation – this is especially useful where the structure means insulation levels are reduced.
  • Water efficiency targets also feature in English and Welsh building regulations. We can offer Part G calculations to ensure your design ticks this box.

3. Construction

Moving into the construction stage, we want to make sure any work we’ve completed for you to date continues to be accurate. If any changes to the design, layout or specification occur we ask that you let us know so we can keep our calculations up to date.

  • This is also a good time to start thinking about air leakage and acoustic testing. These on-site checks are needed before you can get everything signed off, so it’s best to plan ahead and get your engineers booked in for a visit.

4. Completion

When you finally reach completion, it’s all about tying up the loose ends.

  • It’s highly likely you’ll need to have an Air Leakage Test completed, and depending on the development you may be acoustic tests carried out also. These can only be done once construction is complete – ideally before any carpets or furnishings are installed.
  • Once the air test is carried, the results can be fed back into the SAP and SBEM models and the Energy Performance Certificates can be produced. We know time is of the essence at this stage, which is why we offer a same-day EPC turnaround so as not to delay your final sign-off.

5. Post-completion

Energist also offers services in the post-completion/post-occupancy stage.

  • If you have been working with a BREEAM condition, this will have been rolling away in the background, gathering evidence to earn credits throughout the various stages of the build. The latest version of BREEAM awards credits in the post-occupancy stage if you are willing to collect data from the first year of energy and water bills. We can also help if occupants are raising concerns about noisy neighbours or have draughty rooms. Our acousticians can be called on to ensure walls and floors meet the requirements of Building Regulations.
  • Meanwhile, our thermographic partners can survey buildings using heat sensitive cameras to clearly show where heat is escaping. If any insulation has been missed, or a window hasn’t been installed correctly, the thermographic team will spot it.

 

At Energist, we want to help you from the early planning stages through to final completion and beyond. Our range of core services help us to achieve that. We are known for offering sensible solutions, providing quick timeframes, and generally making the process of compliance as simple as we can. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your next construction project.

 

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 11.03.2019.