What is SBEM?

The Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is the method used to assess the energy performance of commercial buildings against national CO2 emission reduction targets and show compliance with Building Regulations.


Why do I need an SBEM calculation?

All new commercial buildings that are conditioned and over 50m2 require SBEM calculations under Part L of UK Building Regulations, else it cannot be signed off by building control for sale or letting.

Refurbishments, extensions and conversions may also require a SBEM calculation as part of Building Regulations, but this uses a variation of the new build methodology.


Through carefully considering the specification of materials and systems, our energy assessors ensure sustainability targets are reached as efficiently as possible  Jon Ridd, MD, Greenbuild Consult”


  • Space Heating Systems
  • Water Heating Systems
  • Renewable Technologies
  • Building Fabric Efficiency/U-Values
  • Cooling Systems
  • Air Permeability
  • Ventilation Systems

Achieving Compliance

An SBEM assessment is carried out at  the design stage of a project to ensure the proposed specification achieves Building Regulation compliance as efficiently as possible.


How are SBEM Calculations carried out?

We model the proposed building using IES Virtual Environment software and appropriate architectural drawings and proposed system specifications provided by our clients.

This assessment predicts the potential energy demand and thus emission performance of the building to be assessed against  the ‘Target Emission Rate’. Should the actual building emission rate be lower than the Target Emission Rate then Part L Compliance will be achieved.


Obtaining an EPC

At completion, the initial design stage SBEM assessment  is updated with as-built specification details to confirm compliance.


The as-built SBEM score is used in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and determines its energy efficiency rating, ranked from A-G.

Once all necessary information has been passed on to the assessor, the EPC can be lodged onto the Landmark Non-Domestic EPC Register.

EPCs  provide useful information including a breakdown of estimated CO2 emissions and are accompanied by a Recommendation Report which explains what further improvement may be made to improve energy performance.


Air Pressure Testing

Air Pressure Testing (APT) determines the air permeability or leakage rate of a building, which affects its environmental performance.

Air leakage occurs through gaps, holes and cracks in the fabric of the building envelope, which are not always visible. Less fuel is required to heat a building with a lower air leakage rate, reducing CO2 emissions.

The vast majority of new buildings will require an air test. A specialist engineer will need to visit the site at completion to assess the air tightness of the dwelling. SBEM assessors can advise whether an air test is required and what the target score is for compliance.



For all SBEM, EPC and APT enquiries, please email [email protected] or call 01656 865605. We work on projects UK wide.


Keep up to date with our latest news and blogs by checking back in on our ‘News & Views’ page on the GreenBuild Consult website. Follow our social media platforms by following the icons below:



Written by Shannon Thurlby | Sales & Marketing Manager