For the vast majority of commercial properties, a standard level 3 or 4 EPC is appropriate and will be sufficient to meet your obligations. Most NDEAs (Non-Domestic Energy Assessors) are trained for level 3 and level 4 EPCs because these are the most common types of building.
Level 5 EPCs are a bit different, and are only required on buildings with complex features, like domed or glass roofed atria, or demand controlled ventilation systems. To have a level 5 EPC, the whole property is 3D modelled in a software package, called a Dynamic System Model (DSM), which requires a deeper level of detail and far more work for the assessor than a standard EPC.
Do I need a Level 5 EPC?
Chances are that you don’t. As an assessor who has carried out hundreds of commercial EPCs, I can count on one hand the amount of level 5s I have come across. Even a big complex building like an office block, a warehouse, or a factory may well be a level 3 or 4. When you call us to book an EPC, we will take you through a number of questions that will help determine your quote – it will usually be evident that the property in question requires a Level 5 EPC and we will then advise of the requirements.
Are there benefits of a DSM EPC?
Whilst you would normally only get a DSM carried out if you require a level 5 EPC, a DSM can be carried out on more simple properties if you wish. Whilst the cost will be greater, a DSM will provide a greater level of detail and a more accurate reflection the property, but you need to ensure that all the relevant data and information is available to make the extra expense worth it, otherwise you may find the cheaper standard model EPC will provide what you need.
If you decide to get a DSM produced, you should really make sure you have the maximum amount of information possible available to the assessor company. Typically we will ask for pdf versions or CAD files for the elevations and floorplans of the property which will go straight into the software and help expedite the creation of the model. If these files are not available, expect an additional fee for the assessor to carry out a full survey and produce these documents.
Further, ensure that you have any schematics for your air conditioning, heating, insulation and lighting. Any detail that you can offer for these attributes are going to mean you end up with a more accurate (and usually higher rated) EPC. If you cannot provide this information, chances are that defaults will have to be assumed, and it calls in to doubt the worth of a more expensive DSM EPC if a simple EPC will do.
How much does a Level 5 EPC cost?
Costs will vary massively depending on the building, but it is difficult to get a DSM carried out for less than £500 even for a simple building. We typically see prices for multi storey buildings anywhere from £1,000 up to £3,000. This is because the desktop work involved is extensive and will take several days for the assessor and their team to complete, with a day long site visit also required.
Where can I get a Level 5 EPC?
London EPC is able to offer a full range of EPC services including level 5 EPCs. If you think your property requires an EPC of any type, just give us a call and we will discuss your requirements.