How Can You Get a Satisfactory SAP Calculation for Your Building? Your Top Questions Answered

SAP calculations or assessments are a necessary test for any building project, particularly if you are planning to sell or rent out your building or development in the future. The assessment is performed by an assessor, but it's important to remember that the assessor you choose should be fully versed in the evolving regulations regarding SAP assessments so they can give you the best test – and advice. But there are indeed other ways to get a more favourable rating and assessment, and by knowing what you can do, you can even save extra money if you don't have to deal with a retrospective adjustment in the end. So how can you get a satisfactory SAP calculation for your building? Here, your top questions are answered.

1.   Make sure your party walls are insulated

This is more relevant if you are planning flats or mid-terrace houses. Each dwelling's party walls should be properly and completely insulated and sealed to prevent heat from escaping from one dwelling to another. In fact, your SAP assessment will be penalised if you have party walls that are only partially insulated, and completely non-insulated walls are simply not allowed.

2.  Improve your controls for heating

You can also make use of improved controls for heating, such as twin zone controls and weather compensators. These will reduce your building’s DER, which, in turn, makes it easier for you to achieve a good SAP assessment.

3.  Invest in light bulbs with low energy

Another thing you can do for your SAP assessment is to invest in light bulbs with low energy, and fortunately, technology has already improved by leaps and bounds when it comes to lighting. The energy-saving light bulbs available today are no longer an awkward fit for most dwellings, and they are not as ugly, either. But more than this, they will not take as much as ten minutes just to warm up. Make sure as well that each light bulb is either comprised of fluorescent tubes or LEDs, so you should avoid halogen or tungsten lamps. What’s best about it is that these changes are cheap and quick, but they will make a big difference in your SAP.

4.  Have a calculation of the psi-values if you are building several dwellings according to the same design or specification

If your project builds structures according to the same design or specification, you should calculate the psi-values for every major thermal bridging junction. If you don't invest in psi-value calculations, you may end up spending more money to make sure that your buildings can meet the required Target Fabric Energy Efficiency and Target Emission Rate scores.

Along with all this, make sure your building's fabric is of good quality; the fabric can have a significant impact on the score, and if it is good enough, you may not have to invest too heavily in renewable technology.

Lastly, make use of an assessor who has ample experience with SAP assessments, and it’s a given that they should be fully accredited as well. The assessor should not only check and review your building or development; they should be able to give you recommendations and the best advice on what you can do to make it right.


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