SBEM Calculations

Fully accredited SBEM Calculations to comply with Building Regulations

S.E.A are certified SBEM Calculators / Assessors for commercial projects. SBEM stands for Simplified Building Energy Model, and it is the preferred method of the government to assess energy in non-residential buildings.

An SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) is a methodology and software tool for assessing a building’s energy efficiency. It incorporates calculations that are required for a new build, refurbishment or extension of a commercial premises.

SBEM calculations are required in order to comply with Building Regulations Part L2. It is compulsory to have SBEM calculations carried out on non-domestic construction projects. The SBEM calculations produce a report certificate which shows the energy efficiency rating for the building in question. The SBEM software produces a Building Regulations UK part L (BRUKL) at Design Stage and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) at post construction of the project.

What does an SBEM Calculation Provide

An SBEM Calculation provides a carbon footprint of the proposed building as required by Building Regulations. It will indicate the energy cost and carbon emissions generated at the design stage of a project and the post construction stage.
Very often changes will be made after ‘As Design’ calculations in liaison with the architect, developer or client to ensure that the construction complies with the latest regulations. It is essential to engage with an accredited consultant such as S.E.A before finalising the design to ensure the project complies with Building regulations Part L2.

What Needs to Be Provided to Complete an SBEM Assessment?

  • A complete set of architectural drawings (floor plans, sections, elevations and site plan).
  • An architect’s specification, or if you do not have one, a completed data collection sheet.
  • An M&E package from the consultants detailing the Heating and cooling systems that are to be used.

SBEM Calculations are required on buildings such as:

  • Shops/offices
  • Hotels
  • Warehouses
  • Leisure centres
  • Care homes
  • Schools
  • Community buildings
  • Extensions over 50m2

The SBEM process

The SBEM assessment in detail

1. Design Stage SBEM Assessment

An SBEM assessment comes in two parts. The first part is the ‘Design Stage SBEM Assessment’, which needs to be completed before the construction starts. It is important to start the process well in advance, so that there is time to resolve any issues that may arise before construction begins. When this process has been carried out the assessor can issue the BRUKL report with can be passed onto Building Control to satisfy Building regulation Part L2.

2. As Built SBEM

When the building is completed, the second stage of the SBEM assessment is carried out. This is called an ‘As Built SBEM’ and will assess any changes to the construction that may have occurred during the build to ensure you meet the standards set out in Part L2, this will also include any Air Permeability Test if required. S.E.A are also accredited to provide your Air Tightness Tests for any project.

3. Reports and Certificates

Once this has been carried out the assessor can then issue the AS built SBEM reports and final Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

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What Can Be Done to Ensure a Pass?

In order to give the best chance of getting a good result, there are a number of things that should be thought about at Design Stage, prior to the SBEM assessment beginning. These include:

  • Ensuring that the lighting is as energy efficient as possible.
  • Ensuring that the air conditioning efficiency is as low as possible and appropriately sized for the project.
  • Making sure the heating efficiency is as low as possible and is also suitably sized for the purpose that it will be heating.
  • Installing ventilation that is efficient and effective.

There are, of course, other factors to consider as well. S.E.A are happy to discuss and advise you on this if required.

What Happens if the Building Doesn’t Pass?

When we complete an SBEM assessment, we are obligated to provide a fair and accurate representation, therefore it is sometimes the case that we have to report that a building does not meet the requirements laid down in Part L2 of Building Regulations. If this does happen, we will advise on any issues that we feel could improve the BER.

As an accredited assessor, S.E.A are audited by our governing bodies for your quality assurance.

How Can CO2 Emissions Be Lowered?

The amount of CO2 emissions from a building also contributes towards the overall score given in the SBEM assessment. It is therefore important to make sure these are kept to a minimum. The way that the building’s energy is supplied is the main factor in these calculations.

Different power supplies have different ratings, and these will impact heavily on the building’s overall carbon emissions score. For example, a building running solely on grid supplied electricity will have a high overall score (0.517KgCO2/kWh), while a building using biomass will have a very low score (0.013KgCO2/kWh). Therefore, it is important to choose the most efficient option were possible. It is also increasingly common for two different fuel types to be used, for example, with biomass being used with a gas backup.


Our approach is to provide an excellent customer experience through efficiency, reliability, knowledge and professionalism.

WW Martin

"We have worked closely with Tom & Kevin on many commercial and residential projects for both SBEM & SAP’s and onsite air and sound test and find their approach practical in meeting our objectives."

David Barker

Red Key Concepts

"We have been delighted with the wide range and highly professional services that SEA Building Compliance have offered to us in a selection of our development projects. Specifically they have provided us with a high quality SAP, SBEM, air and sound testing solutions within our residential and commercial builds and at every stage of the build to ensure that we achieve compliance."

Charley Gremo-Gilham

Kudos Surveying

"I just wanted to thank you and your team for the excellent service we and our clients have received from SEA Building Compliance Limited.    We particularly appreciate all the hard work you all put in to meet our sometimes ridiculous deadlines and of course all of the solutions you put forward to assist the projects. This is a tribute to the quality of your team and the services provided, we have    enjoyed working with you all and the opportunity that has presented to use your    extensive range of professional services to provide solutions to our technical problems.    Once again, thank you and all of the team that have worked on our    projects    and we hope to continue working closely together in the future. "

Matthew Gerlack

BBS Construction Ltd

"We have appointed SEA Building Compliance on several housing and commercial projects and have always found them to be professional and very knowledgeable in building compliance testing, consultation and certification. We have no hesitation in recommending them to others and continue to utilise their expertise on our own developments. "

Matt Brickland
Managing Surveyor

Ashford Borough Council

"We are proud to have had a long association with S.E.A Building Compliance Ltd who we use for thermal calculations as well as sound and air testing. This supplements the building consultancy and building regulation services we offer making a much more complete ‘one stop shop’ for our clients. As such S.E.A are considered to be part of our team. We find the service to be extremely professional and approachable and at a value that results in no need for us to look elsewhere."

David Harrison
Building Control & Quality Place Making Manager

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