If you have a new build commercial property, you will need an energy performance certificate (EPC) before you can get building control sign-off or rent out the space. This is sometimes carried out as part of the contract with the developer, and sometimes done by the company responsible for building services. Either way, it’s important you get it done!

What is the difference between a New Build and Existing Commercial EPC

With residential buildings, there is a very clear distinction between a new build and existing building EPCs. New builds have what is known as an SAP EPC, which is usually done completely from the plans for the building. Existing buildings use something called RdSAP, or Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure. This is done from onsite measurements and observations and is therefore a little less accurate.

Commercial EPCs are a little different. A new build EPC will require a level 4 energy assessor, whereas existing commercial buildings can be level 3 or 4. But this is only a minor consideration as most commercial assessors have level 4 accreditation. Because new builds often have to reach a certain energy efficiency level to be signed off, these EPCs carry a lot more weight and importance. Getting an A or B rating could make the difference between meeting and not meeting the terms of the contract, so there is a lot resting on it.

How is a new build commercial EPC carried out?

Whilst a site survey will need to be carried out, a lot of the work will be done on at a desk. It is essential that all the data relating to the material used and systems installed in the building are made available. This data will be fed into the SBEM software to create the EPC, and missing data can be critical. Typically things that will be needed to achieve the best ratings are: full lighting designs, u-values and k-values for the building fabric, including walls, roof, floor, doors and windows. Also useful are air tightness data and information on the efficiencies of any heating/cooling in the building and extractors. Most new builds will have some form of renewable technology as well, and this will be very important for the final rating. Full specs on any renewable system are essential.

Can anything be assumed with a new build EPC?

If the building is a shell and yet to be fitted out with heating systems for example, then the assessor can potentially assume that the building services compliance guide will be followed. Minimum efficiency standards must be input assuming the building will be kitted out to meet the regulations, but not exceed them. It can never be assumed that a better system will be installed in the future, even if there are assurances from the client that this will be the case. It may be better to get your EPC following fit-out if the rating is important to you, although these assumed values are usually fairly good.

How much does a new build EPC cost?

The work involved in creating one of these EPCs is much more than for a standard EPC. This means that the cost is going to be somewhat higher. It is impossible to give an accurate price without first being provided with quality plans, an idea of the type of property, and what you are looking to achieve from the EPC. Achieving the very highest ratings can be quite tricky, even with all the relevant documentation.

We also ask that you give more time for these EPCs to be completed. Where a typical non-domestic existing building may take 48 hours to pull together, a new build can take a fair bit of back-and-forth with the client, as well as a lot of desktop work. We ask that you leave a minimum of a week for this process, and ideally longer.

If you would like a quote for a new build commercial property, just give us a call and we will be happy to help.