Whenever a new BREEAM technical manual is introduced, we can be sure it will seek to keep the rating scales of the assessment process relevant, close the performance gap and try to push the industry to be more innovative, sustainable and productive. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that every new version of the manual will introduce a number of new requirements. Often, developers, architects and contractors in the construction industry can design and price new projects based on details from the last successful project; however, if there’s been any recent change in building regulations or sustainability criteria this can prove to be a risky approach. When a new BREEAM technical manual is released, therefore, it’s vital to identify and understand new requirements quickly, in order for the project to run smoothly. 

 

A more accurate, real-world design informs the updates to SAP calculations.

As we know, SAP calculations are a vital part of building regulation compliance in the UK, and measure the planned energy performance of a new dwelling. Usually updated once every four years, the new SAP 10 won’t be in use until Part L regulations are next updated (likely 2019 or 2020). 

SAP 10 has been released, allowing everyone to review the changes that will be implemented when the building regulations are next updated. However, these changes seem unlikely to come into play until 2019 or possibly 2020. The changes included in SAP 10 have been introduced to better ensure that SAP calculations - and their respective EPCs - more accurately reflect the as-built performance of a dwelling.

A summary of the most important changes to understand are outlined below:

Ace the air leakage test for a hassle-free certification.

 

Why is air leakage important?

Minimising air leakage is good for the environment and for the client: if there are holes and gaps in the building fabric, heated air can escape. Reduced air leakage makes for an energy-efficient building, with lower CO2 emissions and – happily for the customer – lower energy bills.