What is SAP?

Standard Assessment Procedures were developed by the BRE for the former Department of the Environment in 1992 to measure the environmental performance of a dwelling and to demonstrate compliance with Approved Document L1a (Conservation of Fuel & Power) of the Building Regulations.

The software analyses data such as the perimeter area ratio, primary and secondary heating systems, and the thermal performance of external elements to derive a dwelling emission rate.

What Building Regulation Compliance means

Compliance with Part L1a of the Building Regulations 2010 does not simply require a Dwelling Emission rate lower than the required Target Emission Rate. Consideration must be paid to the area weighted average of the key elements, the main and any secondary heating systems including any associated controls, hot water storage including any dedicated solar storage, the proportion of low energy light fittings proposed, any overheating risks, and the building's designed air permability.

Area weighted average for key elements:

  • Walls: 0.30 W/m2K
  • Roof: 0.20 W/m2K
  • Floor: 0.25 W/m2K
  • Openings: 2.00 W/m2K

Who can undertake SAP calculations?

To be eligible to undertake SAP calculations and produce Predicted Energy Assessments an assessor must have achieved accreditation under a Government approved training scheme. At Ellis Belk we are accredited through Elmhurst Energy Systems, the largest trainer in the UK who are not only Government approved but also BRE recommended.

When are SAP calculations used?

SAP can be applied to both new and existing dwellings in Britain. At Ellis Belk Associates we undertake calculations for new build proposals both at the design stage and for as built purposes. Calculations for redevelopment of existing buildings are also undertaken as a means of demonstrating an improvement over the existing Dwelling Emission Rate.

SAP with EcoHomes and the Code for Sustainable Homes

The SAP calculation procedure provides information for compliance with the energy section of the Code for Sustainable Homes and EcoHomes for refurbished units. To achieve Code Level 3 a dwellings Emission Rate must not exceed the calculated Target Emission Rate, to achieve Code Level 4 a 25% improvement must be demonstrated, Code 5 requires a 100% improvement and Code 6 is a zero net Co2 emission dwelling.

Here at Ellis Belk we have undertaken a number of SAP calculations for projects striving to achieve code compliance and are therefore able to offer assistance to meet the required standards.

New Legislation/environmental

We are all aware of the fragile state of our planet and the documentary evidence to support claims that we are causing irreversible damage, therefore it will come as no surprise to learn that the Government is persistently striving to achieve zero carbon houses by 2016. This is likely to be enforced via Code for Sustainable Homes style standards within the Building Regulations.

Our specific knowledge

We have undertaken SAP calculations for schemes ranging from large private developments to housing schemes in excess of 40 dwellings, including those striving towards Code Levels 3 and 4. We are knowledgeable of the impact low and zero carbon technologies have on the achievement of Approved Document L1a and associated
Appendix Q calculations required for their incorporation within SAP calculation worksheets.