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8 Minute Read • Design & Construction (RIBA 4-5)

What is SBEM?

Design & Construction (RIBA 4-5)
Design & Construction (RIBA 4-5)

What is SBEM?


What it SBEM

SBEM is a calculation which measures the energy performance of a non-residential building. We use SBEM to work out if a new building will comply with Building Regulations, and to also generate the Energy Performance Certificate.

What does SBEM stand for

Don’t expect this one to come up in any pub quizzes any time soon. It stands for the Simplified Building Energy Model. It is ‘Simple’ in that a lot of the background maths is pre-defined, which means the modelling can be completed quicker.

What is the difference between SBEM and EPC

The SBEM calculation is used to generate the EPC. For non-residential buildings, the Energy Performance Certificate ranks buildings from A-G, where A rated buildings are the most efficient. This report is automatically generated when an accredited assessor completes the SBEM model.

What does SBEM measure

The SBEM model essentially measures three things.

Firstly, it calculates the heat loss through the fabric of the building. This part of the assessment considers amounts of insulation and construction details of the walls, roofs, floors and windows.

Secondly, the SBEM considers the energy used to provide the occupants of the building with heating, hot water, ventialtion and lighting.

And finally, the calculation considers energy saved by using low carbon and renewable technologies – usually solar PV panels, but can also calculate savings from onsite Combined Heat and Power plants and wind turbines.

What is the difference between SAP and SBEM

SAP is specifically designed to calculate the energy performance of dwellings. SBEM deals with all other building types. Both SAP and SBEM are used to prove building regulation compliance, and both are used to generate EPC reports. In some cases, such as care homes or holiday lets, it’s a bit of a grey area to know which method is most appropriate.

Do I need an SBEM?

Read more

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