What is an SBEM and when is it needed?

SBEM, ‘Simplified Building Energy Model’, refers to the computer programme used to assess how energy efficient a commercial property is based on the buildings energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions from month to month. The energy efficiency of a commercial property is based on various aspects of the building including how the building is to be/has been built, the heating ventilation, air conditioning systems and lighting equipment installed as well as its use. An SBEM assessment is a lawful requirement and should therefore be obtained by anyone considering undergoing construction to a commercial property.

An SBEM assessment is divided into 2 parts, L2A and L2B. SBEM L2A applies to new commercial buildings prior to commencement of construction, where as SBEM L2B applies to existing commercial buildings undergoing extensions/alterations. The SBEM assessment provides a set of building standards to which the new building/extension should be built to in order to ensure it complies with building regulations in terms of its energy efficiency. An SBEM assessment is therefore required for all new commercial buildings and extensions, such as offices, public houses and storage units etc, and should be gained prior to the commencement of the build.