Energy efficiency has become a hot topic in recent years due in no small part to the increase in popularity of renewable energy. There are many ways to make a home more energy-efficient, and it can yield more benefits for the homeowner. A good architect must have proper knowledge of SAP calculations for new builds, among other things. SAP calculations are based on the Dwelling Emission Rate and the Dwelling Fabric Energy Efficiency.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculations are only needed for residential properties. These determine a Target Emission Rate (TER) and a Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) rate.
These calculations are required by Part L in England and Wales, Section 6 in Scotland and Part F1 in Northern Ireland, under each respective building regulation standard. These are concerned with the conservation of fuel and power in households.
Since the introduction of SAP in 1995, regulations have been revised several times to comply with modern technology. For example, the calculations must reference a new or recent Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is required by law to rent out or sell a residential property.
The rates use an alphabetic symbol A being the best and G is the worst performance.
Calculations for SAP are completed using information from floorplans, elevations, sections of the house, site plan and the type and thickness of insulations used. It also considered the U-value of openings, the specifications of heating systems, the amount of hot water generated, the percentage of low-energy lighting in residence, the type of ventilation system, and the renewable technologies in the house. There are other factors to be considered, and they would vary from one case to another.
It is a requirement to complete a SAP calculation for a new build to get started. Therefore, architects have the opportunity to increase the household’s rating. In some cases, like the L1A calculation, a second report is needed after completing the project. The timeline for analysis is usually 5 to 10 days after the request has been made.
It will be illegal to rent or sell a building that has failed to pass the required calculation for SAP or neglected it altogether. So all buildings must undergo analysis. Those who wish to build their homes or rent a residential property should arrange for a calculation to be done at the appropriate stage(s) of the build.
SAP calculations are more of a desktop job, so data in the submitted file must be correct. The main information authorities are looking for are site address and postcode, site plan, and the orientation of the dwelling. The plans for each story are usually 1:100 scale, drawings of elevations, and sectional drawings of the dwellings.
The client, assessor, and the designer will agree on the design version in the final design stage. This step may require some modifications or amendments to the initial design so that the building and residence will comply with all the SAP requirements. The data will be recorded in a computer program.
Then the assessor will produce reports and requirements that clients and designers need to submit to the Building Control.
During the final stage of the build, the assessor will finalise the calculation for SAP, where the EPC will be created. The EPC must be displayed in any new property put up for sale on the open market by law. There are monetary incentives for households with good standing EPCs.
Domestic Architects Urged to Learn About Carbon Emissions
Architects working on small-scale domestic projects are encouraged to stay updated on the latest carbon emission reduction techniques and apply them to their projects. According to Sara Edmonds, co-founder of the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), architects have the opportunity to influence refurb sectors.
According to Edmonds, a large portion of architects practice at a small scale. Being carbon-literate can provide a significant opportunity to influence the sector. Those who work on house remodelling, refurbishing, and extension can benefit from this knowledge.
When retrofitting a house, you are often doing much more than simply replacing windows or using external wall insulation. It is about making a system around the house that can support the dwellers’ lives while having a lighter touch to the environment.
Architects are encouraged to learn all they can to become literate about carbon emissions and understand how to apply that knowledge in the context of their work, said Edmonds.
Being carbon literate can start from getting a course on Carbonlite retrofit course. Institutions like the Anthropocene Architecture School, the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) can provide training.
The shift in understanding will not just benefit the architects but the environment as well. As a result, ACAN launched a campaign called Households Declare. It is a bid to encourage the 29 million households in the UK to sign a letter to Alok Sharma, the minister for this year’s Cop 26 climate summit in Glasgow.
They are signing for the UK Government to announce their achievable plans to take on the large number of emissions regularly produced by homes. They are also asking for government support for climate-friendly home improvements.
About 20 per cent of carbon-equivalent emissions are a result of the energy households use. These statistics were like “a punch in the gut”, said Edmonds, because despite the high percentage of carbon emissions, the Government seems to be silent about it.
Households Declare indents to allow everyone who owns or tenants a house to call for reform and real action together. Homes should be safe, clean, and environmentally friendly, and the Government should play their part in implementing these changes.
Accredited SAP Assessors
SAP calculations are an essential requirement when building your dream home. It can make or break your project and be a source of frustration if not done correctly.
At Briary Energy, we provide reliable and professional SAP assessments and ensure that you have every possible advantage. You may be able to save up to £800 per plot.
Our assessors are professionally trained and accredited so that you can have peace of mind throughout your assessment. If you have any enquiries, don’t hesitate to reach out.