SBEM is used for non domestic buildings in support of the National Calculation Methodology (NCM), the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Green Deal.

SBEM applies to most commercial buildings,for example industrial warehouses, school, hotels, pubs and sports halls to name a few. There are a few exceptions, MOD buildings and places of worship.

 The programme calculates monthly energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, given a description of the building which is entered through its user interface iSBEM, based on:


  • Building type.
  • Building geometry.
  • Construction.
  • Use.
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC).
  • Lighting equipment.


A design stage SBEM assessment should be completed before the construction starts and then an as-built SBEM when construction is completed, which includes the results of  air permeability tests and demonstrates  that the building has been constructed in accordance with the design. This is referred to as a Building Regulation UK Part L report (BRUKL).


2013 revisions to Part L of Building Regulations, which took effect on 6 April 2014 have been implemented in a new version of SBEM,cSBEM. SBEM may still be used on projects for which transitional arrangements apply, see 2013 changes to the approved documents for part L of the building regulations for more information.


Through comparing the designed Building Emission Rate (BER) with an SBEM calculated Target Emission Rate (TER); it shows the compliance with UK Building Regulations Part L2A & 2B. The results of the SBEM Calculation are then summarised for submission to Building Control in the form of a BRUKL report.


The tool is currently used to determine CO2 emission rates for new buildings in compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) and equivalent Regulations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Jersey. It is also used to generate Energy Performance Certificates for non-domestic buildings on construction and at the point of sale or rent as well as extensions to existing buildings, it can also be used to show compliance on existing buildings where there is excessive glazing.


The calculations seek to demonstrate that the actual building concerned performs better, in terms of energy efficiency, than a notional building which conforms to the current standards set by Building Regulations. The notional building is the same shape and orientation as the actual building and the activities performed within each individual zone are also identical, the only things that differ are the percentage glazing used within the calculations and the mechanical and electrical installations such as heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water generation and lighting.
The notional building will produce a Target Emission Rate (TER) in KgCO2/m² per annum and as this suggests this is a target which the actual building must not exceed in order to demonstrate compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. The actual building will produce a Building Emission Rate (BER), if BER ≤ TER then the building concerned complies with regulations.
There are a couple of other hoops that must be jumped through in order to satisfy Building Regulations such as limiting U-value standards W/m².K for all external elements, efficiency of heat sources, power consumed through mechanical ventilation,  lighting and air tightness of the building. Producing a building which merely complies to minimum standards will almost certainly not be enough to give a successful outcome of any SBEM Calculation,
Building Regulations 2013 have sought to vastly improve energy performance of new buildings and minimum standards must be largely improved upon in order to achieve a positive outcome.
Whether it is improved u-values, air tightness or lighting efficiencies which are implemented.


Construction Assessment Services Ltd have a wealth of experience in achieving compliance for a whole manner of differing building types from schools, hospitals and community centres to multi storey office blocks, industrial facilities and large leisure developments, whatever the project we will help find a solution.

On many occasions these days buildings will not pass without the introduction of renewable energy such as Photo-voltaics, Air or Ground Source Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant, all of these can be modelled into the calculation tool to identify the most appropriate solution for a given project and the client's preference.