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How are SAP Assessments Performed? Your Top Questions Answered

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The SAP assessment or Standard Assessment Procedure is a requirement for new buildings and dwelling places in the UK, and most, if not all, contractors and building specialists will be familiar with it. If you are involved in a construction and building project, then you should also know that SAP assessments are a standard, and you need to have an assessment carried out, so you are sure that your building or development adheres to regulations, particularly when it comes to energy consumption and efficiency. But what can you really expect from the Standard Assessment Procedure so you will know how to properly prepare for it? How are SAP assessments performed? Here, your top questions are answered.

Stage one: the design stage (draft)

The SAP assessor will be using plans your designer or architect has provided so they can begin preparing the initial numbers and figures for your property’s floor area and the building’s dimensions (which includes all external doors and windows). At this stage, they will also identify specific areas where heat is lost, which includes the roofing, the walls, and the floors.

The assessor will then compute the building’s thermal performance and create U values for every element. They will then make use of special software so they can determine if the building complies with regulations regarding energy efficiency. 

Stage two: the design stage (final)

Stage two is the finalisation of stage one, once the design of the property has already been through whatever changes are needed to satisfy the requirements of the SAP. The client (you), the architect, and the assessor will work closely together to meet these requirements, and the data will then be finalised as well as submitted, producing a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) report.

Stage three: the build stage (draft)

At this point, the assessor will ask for a test on air pressure, and you will then be required to provide the assessor with an air pressure technician, although specialists in the energy statement and SAP should be able to give you referrals on technicians as well. There are certain buildings, however, that do not require the test on air pressure, and these include small sites (fewer than two buildings) where a specific value can be estimated without the property having to undergo the test. If the test on air pressure results in your property failing regulations, your assessor should be able to give you advice on the actions you can take to resolve the situation. At this point, your assessor may also check if your property is registered on the central database of the government of national properties. 

Stage four: the build stage (final)

When your building’s construction has been completed, your assessor will then create the EPC certificate. The other additional documentation that will be provided by your assessor includes the SAP data input report and the SAP worksheet report.

Before you go through the SAP assessment, you need to make sure that certain documents are readily available for the assessor, and this includes documentation and information on your construction, your heating and cooling systems, your ventilation system, your hot water system, your lighting system, and any system you have which makes use of renewable energy, such as solar panels or wind turbines. 

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