SBEM Energy Assessment

non-domestic assessments combine the design and thermal performance of the proposed building with the building services for heating, lighting, ventilation, cooling and domestic hot water.

SBEM Energy Assessment

SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) assessments combine the design and thermal performance of the proposed building with the building services for heating, lighting, ventilation, cooling and domestic hot water.

For a transparent and easy to assess process, Low Carbon Box utilise 3D software, DesignBuilder and our accredited non-domestic energy assessors build the model and input the information providing feedback on any issues that need to improve.

We have almost 30 years experience in architectural technology and backed up with an MSc in Energy & Sustainable Building Design. We provide a simple and proven service, whatever your requirements and knowledge.


Understanding SBEM Energy Assessment Commonly Asked Questions

Who needs an SBEM calculation?

If you are building a new non-domestic building such as school, office or maybe a community centre, then each new building needs an SBEM calculation to demonstrate that they limit carbon emissions in line with ‘Approved Document Part L2A 2013’ of the Building Regulations.

The SBEM calculation combined a series of inputs, assessing carbon emissions, U values, excess solar gains and building services efficiencies.

At Low Carbon Box, we use the SBEM calculation process to help balance the building fabric and building services specification to meet the requirements.

What are SBEM calculations?

SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) calculations are energy calculations that predict the energy performance and carbon emissions of a new non-domestic building.

SBEM will look at several categories for the assessment such as:

  • Insulation values through the walls, floor and roof
  • Solar gains through windows and roof lights
  • Air tightness (uncontrolled air leakage causing cold draughts)
  • Thermal bridging (heat loss through junctions such as where the floor meets the wall)
  • Heating efficiency and fuel used to power the heating and hot water
  • Ventilation fan efficiency and power used
  • Low energy lighting (Specific values)
  • If required, renewable energy and other low carbon technologies

Using a combination of the above and using architect’s drawings to measure from, the SBEM calculation can predict energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with the proposed non-domestic building.

The software sets the Target Emission Rate (TER) which is the amount of carbon emissions per m2 of floor area per year (kgCO2/m2/yr). Your Building Emission Rate (BER) must fall below this target to pass.

In addition to this, there are other criteria to pass such as maximum U values, minimising excess solar gains and meeting minimum efficiencies for building services.

How do you pass a SAP calculation?

SBEM is heavily influenced by building services. You should choose suitable building services with high efficiencies to reduce the impact on the building fabric. Run a test on the chosen system and see where the main energy demand occurs and seek out ways to reduce energy demand through improved efficiency or changes to the building fabric.

SBEM can be less intuitive than other assessment processes. Speak to us about your building type before proceeding too far. We may have modeled a similar building to provide some initial feedback.

How can Low Carbon Box help?

We have carried out over 140 projects with SBEM calculations throughout England for a wide variety of clients, including Medical Centres, Warehouses, Offices, Education, Community Centres and more.

Our lead assessor is an on-construction domestic energy assessor (accredited with Elmhurst Energy) with an MSc in Energy & Sustainable Building Design and over 20 years experience in Architecture. Our advice and service is geared around providing solutions for our clients, helping them achieve their goals and input our significant experience to make the process easy, whilst using materials and systems that are readily available.


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Client Thoughts

I would like to pass on our thanks and appreciation for your hard work, expertise and valued input to the scheme.

James Nellist
Lindum Construction