The right energy assessment for commercial property: Level 5 EPC explained - Inteb

The right energy assessment for commercial property: Level 5 EPC explained


As regulations toughen up to improve energy ratings of commercial properties, investors and developers now more than ever need to keep their sights firmly set on accurate energy assessments.

Certainly, most properties fall into the standard Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements at Level 3 or 4, enough to meet any legal obligations in the vital ongoing measures to tackle climate change.

But what about those large modern buildings, the ones of more complex structure – normally multi-storey skyscrapers and out of town shopping malls that are increasingly dominating our skylines.

Here is where a Level 5 EPC is needed. This certification is somewhat different to a Level 3 or 4 in that it only applies to properties with specific features, say, a domed or glass-roofed atrium or has automatic blind control or ventilation or cooling systems.

A Level 5 is comparatively unusual, though, and the chances are that a large new building – whether it be a factory, an office block for multi-let usage or warehousing – is only going to need a Level 3 or 4. However, to be completely confident, the best way forward is a conversation with one of the Inteb team who will help determine if a Level 5 is required.

If that’s the case, the next step before the assessment is submitted to Building Control, if a new development, is to use dynamic system modelling (DSM) on the building. This 3D modelling approach, with its deeper level of detail, gives a more accurate picture when it comes to analysing energy efficiency. The resulting calculations can help reduce energy requirements and therefore improve the property’s energy rating.

A word of warning, to get the benefit of a Level 5 EPC, the maximum amount of information possible is needed, such as “As-built” O&M Manuals, detailed specifications and CAD files.

Inteb’s energy experts are highly qualified to help find investors the most cost-effective and accurate route to regulatory energy assessment, working through data and, if making the DSM choice, create the model through surveys, floor plans and building elevations. Heating, lighting, insulation, and air conditioning are all also factored into the process to achieve Level 5 certification.

The optimum use of a DSM model can also reduce any Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) risk, with the energy efficiency of a building being assessed as part of a forward-thinking collaboration between the operational and asset management teams.

Staying compliant, improving sustainability, and reducing carbon are the challenges where Inteb can help investors and property developers achieve their energy-related targets.

Please get in touch if you need advice and support on these important issues.