We often get requests for new build or ‘on construction’ EPCs. This particular client had a newly built supermarket that required an EPC in west London. With new build certificates there are some extra requirements that make them a little more tricky than your standard as built EPC.
How to Get an EPC on a Commercial New Build
We usually start by requesting some plans for the building, along with any documentation on the HVAC system and the lighting design. These should all be readily available for a new build, which is good news as it means we can achieve the higher ratings on the certificate.
The lighting design is a really good place to start, because the building will often have to be zoned in accordance with the design so that the lux and wattage levels can be entered in full. Often we won’t quote a job until we see the lighting design for a new build, as a particularly intricate design can add lots of time to the assessors paperwork.
Site Visit for a New Build Commercial EPC
Despite the paperwork, we still have to carry out a site visit for new build commercial EPC’s. For the Ruislip supermarket this was carried out following installation of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system and towards the end of the fit out process. It was a particularly wet and windy day when the visit was carried out, but the survey was completed!
The site visit is very useful to the over EPC rating because, although you can use the plans to model the building, nothing beats actually seeing the property on site. It also gives the project manager the chance to point out where anything may be different from the plans provided, and to clarify anything that is not clear in the documentation.
The Ruislip Supermarket Overall EPC Rating
Most commercial new builds achieve a very good EPC rating because, even when there is a lack of documentation for a certain item, you can still use modern building regulations defaults, which are generally very good. In this case, the client provided nearly all the necessary information, with the one exception being the air permeability test results, which was not available at the time the EPC needed to be issued.
As you might expect, the property achieved an A rating on their EPC. With some new builds an A rating is sometimes missed due to a lack of information provided by the client, but in this case good communication and responses to requests for more information meant we could get them over the line.
We recommend you pull together the following information if at all possible:
- Lighting Design, or at a minimum, specs for the lighting, as well as light;
- U and K values for the building fabric – walls, floors, roof. T and U values for the glazing / doors as well;
- Model numbers for the HVAC system, and ideally efficiency figures like the COP, SCOP, EER and SEER. For some systems there are other figures we may request, like heating control information, power factors, air leakage test results, heat recovery systems and SFP;
- Any extractors or mechanical ventilation system we would be looking for the extract rates and the SFP (Specific Fan Power);
- Air permeability test results;
- Letter confirming the new address for the property;
- Plans for the building – ideally ones to show the general layout of the building rather than technical drawings for the electrics or the HVAC.
Obviously with some new build projects this data may not always be readily available, especially on smaller projects. This is where it is important to communicate with your EPC assessor and find out whether there are alternative pieces of evidence that can be utilised. Often there are ways around the problem that can ensure you get the rating you deserve for the building. Fortunately in this example the rating came out in that A bracket.