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SAP calculations made easy for New Builds.

February 20, 2023

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

SAP calculations are necessary for residential new build projects, in order to demonstrate compliance with Part L1a of Building Regulations. 

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the means by which the Government assesses and compares the energy and environmental performance of different dwellings. This SAP rating is necessary for anyone working on new residential developments, conversions and even some extensions; it will be used to produce your Predicted Energy Assessment and your Energy Performance Certificate.

The fact that you’re reading this blog shows that you’re keen to contribute to a more sustainable landscape – one where the construction industry no longer contributes to almost 10% of all energy-related CO2 emissions. Which means you’ll want to achieve as good a score as possible for your dwelling.

But, what’s the specific impact on your new build? How do you go about getting your SAP calculation for your new build? Read on to find out.

What is a SAP assessment?

A SAP calculation stands for a Standard Assessment Procedure calculation: essentially, this is the means of showing that your new build complies with energy and carbon requirements set out in the current Building Regulations.

It’s your measure of the energy and environmental performance of your new dwelling and your assessment of the energy your new development is likely to consume. Your SAP assessment will analyse:

Once this information has been collated, you’ll get a score of 1 – 100+ which will then determine your energy running costs. The higher the score, the lower your cost. If the result is 100, then it costs nothing to run – if higher, then it’s actually self-sustaining and generates extra energy (a real winner!).

Your calculation will be used to form your SAP rating, your Predicted Energy Assessment and your Energy Performance Certificate: three crucial components for your new build ready to get on the market or ready for occupancy.

Do I need a SAP calculation for my new build dwelling?

A SAP calculation is a requirement for ALL new buildings and homes. Your building control officer will require both your SAP and EPC for sign off in accordance with current legislation.

Therefore, If you want to pass building regulations, the black and white answer is that you need to provide a SAP calculation for your dwelling. It’s vital to prove that your home meets both the carbon emissions and fabric performance standards set out in Part L of the building regulations. In addition, it demonstrates your compliance within planning conditions related to carbon and energy savings.


What is a good SAP score?

The higher the SAP rating, the lower your energy costs and the lower the subsequent carbon dioxide emissions. A score of 100 represents zero energy cost – anything over shows that you are actually exporting energy. So, in a nutshell? A good SAP score is a high one.

What is the Target Emission Rate?

The Target Emission Rate (TER) is the maximum level of annual CO2 emissions that are permitted from a dwelling by Approved Document L: Volume 1 of the Building Regulations. The TER is calculated as part of a new build SAP calculation, based upon a notional property of the same size and shape. This sets the  minimum energy performance standards.

What is the Dwelling Emission Rate?

The Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) – on the other hand – is the actual annual CO2 emission rate of a dwelling. This is determined by a SAP Calculation.

What happens if I fail my SAP assessment?

If you fail your SAP assessment, then you’ll need to make specific changes to improve your energy performance standards. Here at Buildpass, we can help you pass your SAP calculations with minimal extra cost and maximum results.

How much does a SAP assessment cost?

This very much depends on the size of the property and the number of units being assessed. Prices range from anywhere between £50 and £300.

When should I get my SAP test?

Get your SAP test done as soon as possible in the building process. If changes are needed, they will be far quicker (and cheaper) to make earlier on in the journey.

How can I book a SAP assessment?

That’s where we come in. At Buildpass, we provide SAP calculations as well as your EPC as part of the same service at no extra cost.

Our expert team will eliminate the complexities of navigating SAP calculations by taking ownership of the process from beginning to end. And by including your EPC within the package, you’ve immediately got one less thing to worry about. Get in touch with a member of our team and we can get started.

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