WHAT IS A SAP ASSESSMENT
The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is a measurement set up by the government to make assessments and comparisons on the environmental and energy performance of buildings. This is in a bid to ensure that new buildings are in line with the Building Regulations. It also makes sure that buildings are in accordance with the energy and environmental policies.
The SAP is aimed at assessing the amount of energy consumption that a new building will take up. The assessment is based on a set of assumptions where the building is said to be fully occupied while providing a specific level of comfort and services.
These regulations are put into place for energy conservation purposes in the United Kingdom or Europe as a whole. Every four years, the regulations are improved in the United Kingdom.
This helps to reduce carbon emissions in new buildings where the ultimate target is zero. The Energy Performance Certificate is an EEC requirement. It came from the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
This process also standardises the assessments of dwelling energy performance so that like for like comparisons can be made nationwide.
The driving force behind the regulations is basically energy saving legislation, either UK or European. The UK building regulations are tightened up every 4 years 2010 /2014, to reduce the carbon emissions of new homes ( zero being the ultimate target). The Energy Performance Certificate, despite getting unfortunately tangled up in the aborted HIPS pack, is in fact an EEC requirement and arose from the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
The energy balance in this model is calculated in terms of heating, lighting and hot water requirement. This helps to determine the amount of fuel consumed, its cost and the carbon footprint. The cost and carbon footprint are expressed onto the SAP and Environmental rating scales. The latter two are additionally expressed on SAP and Environmental ratings scales in bands A to G.
It is important to note that the estimate is solely based on heating, hot water, and lighting for a home. It is exclusive of other activities such as cooking or using any electrical appliances. Remember that the heating pattern is also standardised. This is because different people use different amounts of heat depending on their level of comfort.
DO I NEED SAP CALCULATIONS FOR EXTENSIONS
It has become quite common to find people using extensions in their homes. They help in joining the interior of the house to the garden area by making use of large doors. Many homeowners prefer having this look in their homes which goes against the Building Regulations. Part L of these regulations stipulates a limit for which for energy efficiency in a building.
Building regulations require that the extra area does not cover more than 25% if the new floor area. However, it is common to find that many extensions cover a larger area which goes against the set rules.
Openings with large doors and glazing causes a lot of loss of heat compared to roofs and walls. This explains why there is a set limit of 25% in the Building Regulation Act. The good news is that it is possible to minimise the adverse effects of having a large glass window. This can be achieved by upgrading the construction elements or increasing essential solar gains.
Upgrading the entire property is also another option. The best time to carry out this activity is when the homeowner is having renovations on the property. Guidance is offered where necessary.
Many change of use schemes will also be subject to SAP regulations, like flat conversions or commercial-to-residential conversions.
SAP CALCULATIONS COST
Many people prefer building their own houses where the designs are unique. As a result, they are supposed to submit a PDF copy of their proposal so that they can be given a quote that is specific to the project.
A guideline fee of £250 is charged. For intricate designs, the amount could be increased while for simple designs the cost is reduced. If the development project consists of several flats or plots, the amount per plot or flat is lowered.
This fee is covers of the Design Calculation, As Build Calculation and Energy Performance Certificate. If the design calculation indicates that the building does not meet the Carbon Emissions Target, we offer advice on the necessary changes that you can make. We then calculate the design once again free of charge.
Additionally, simple changes can be made while the construction is underway without any extra charges. When you are making comparisons in costs, check to see if other companies include the As-Built SAP and Energy Performance Certificate in their quotation. Moreover, check if they charge an extra fee when they make any changes. We only ask for payment when the Design SAP Calculation is finalised.
Quotes include the following essential components:
- Design Stage SAP Calculations
- Predicted Energy Certificates
- As Built SAP Calculations
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Lodgement Fee
- FREE recommendations
Various factors determine the ratings of energy efficiency. These are:
- The material used in construction.
- The insulation fabric used in the building.
- Ventilation system and equipment.
- Control of the heating system.
- Solar gains due to the openings in the building structure.
- The fuel that provides heating, lighting, and ventilation.
- Energy used for cooling the building where the air conditioning is fixed
- Renewable energy.
There is a more recent edition of the SAP which is known as SAP 2012. It has incorporated several significant changes.
- Climate data is making use of calculations from the regional weather.
- An allowance for heights above sea level is incorporated into external temperature data.
- Factors affecting CO2 emissions have been modified.
- Fuel process and primary energy factors have been updated.
- The options for heat loss from primary pipework have been extended.
- Thermal bridge details have been added
The rating is not affected by the behaviour of the people occupying a home. For example, household size, different electrical appliances in use such as washing machines and personal heating patterns and temperature levels.
It is crucial to complete and submit the SAP calculations and Building Regulation compliance report before you begin to build. The earlier you do this, the better your chances of complying with the Building Regulations.
Part L of the regulations has proven difficult for most people to comply with. We as the experts will listen to your needs and provide you with the best solutions.
HOW TO DO SAP CALCULATIONS
SAP calculations are based on the energy levels of a new building. There are many factors that affect energy efficiency as shown earlier in this document. These include:
- materials used for the construction
- thermal insulation of the building fabric
- air leakage characteristics of the dwelling, and performance of ventilation equipment
- efficiency and control of the heating systems
- solar gains through openings in the dwelling
- the fuel used to provide space and water heating, ventilation and lighting
- energy for space cooling
- renewable energy technologies
The calculations are exclusive of the individual characteristics of the household size.
SAP calculations determine the fuel costs of the Environmental Impact Rating through emission of carbon dioxide.