Energy Assessments – Non-Domestic Properties

Key Points

  • Non-domestic or a commercial Energy Assessment, in the form of a registered Non- Domestic Energy Performance Certificate is required before a property can be advertised for rental, sale, or letting.
  • Non-domestic EPC are supported by a separate Recommendation Report which sits alongside the EPC.  One without the other makes either invalid.
  • For new-build commercial properties, confirmation in the format of a BRUKL report for the proposed development will be required to provide assurance to the respective planning authority the proposed development complies with Building Regulations and any local or Regional planning requirements – which may be more stringent.
  • Energy assessments are based on the property presented on the day of the assessment, not system or improvements which may be installed later.
  • Non-domestic EPCs last for 10 years from the date of issue or until replaced by a later certificate, whichever earlier.

 

New Build Energy Assessments

These are prepared ‘from plan’ augmented by site visits, and form part of the initial planning application process to gain planning permission for the development.

The ‘design-stage’ BRUKL Report based on the architect’s drawings and developer’s intentions are made available to the planning authority as part of the planning application.

On completion of the development as decided by the builder or developer, the construction and installed systems are checked by the energy assessor from which the initial EPC and Recommendation Report are then formalised both supported by the ‘on-completion’ BRUKL report which is sent by the developer to the planning authority as independent confirmation the development has followed the plans as originally approved.

Please Note, the routine visit by a local authorities Building Control representatives should not be taken by a developer as the agreement of the local authority’s Planning Authority’s to changes in the project which may be made during the course of the construction phase.  Developers should be mindful that changes to the building fabric or installed systems made during the construction phase may have the impact of causing the development to fail the BRUKL and original Planning permission, and therefore Building Regulations ‘on completion’.

 

Existing Building Energy Assessments

An energy assessment is undertaken when a non-domestic property and premises, or part of the property and premises is to be advertised for sale or letting and when:

  1. There is no in-date Energy Performance Certificate in place for the building or part of the building; or
  2. There have been changes to either the fabric or the structure or the installed systems for the whole building or the part of the building which is to be let, which would materially affect any existing EPC Rating in place, the reliance on an existing EPC not representing the property, or part of it, at the time it is advertised for sale to letting.

The role of the Energy Assessor.  The energy assessor is required to visit the premises, in person, and collect a wide range of data from which the EPC Asset Rating is determined.   That data is also used by the assessor to determine a range of potential improvements which the energy assessor believes could be made to the property and which if implemented could then improve the EPC Asset Rating.

What evidence and information is required as part of the energy assessment?

Access to the Building Log Book, CDM, and related Files.  The energy assessor will seek access to a range of statutory documentation required to be in place on the premises and from which details of the installed systems and fabric of the building can be determined.

Installed ventilation systems.  Details of any installed mechanical supply and extract air handling systems will be required, the accurate data relating to which will enhance the EPC Asset Rating.

Glazing.  Glazing can a significant proportion of the external thermal elements of a non-domestic building.  Evidence will be sought by the energy assessor of the glazing details which could be through any one of the following methods:

  1. Hot Box testing to BS EN ISO 12567-1;
  2. CE Marking compliant with BS EN ISO 14351-1;
  3. Eco Label, Window Label Rating bands; or
  4. Indicative Method SAP2009 Table,

each being supported by accredited documentation,

Improvements to the Building Fabric.  Improvements to the building fabric will need to be supported by signed and dated certificates of completion by the respective builder or installer, with details of the specific products used, by type, and characteristics.