Last edited 12 Oct 2020

Building emission rate BER

The Building Regulations set out requirements for specific aspects of building design and construction. Regulation 26 of the building regulations states that “Where a building is erected, it shall not exceed the target CO2 emission rate for the building…”,

The target CO2 emission rate (TER) sets a minimum allowable standard for the energy performance of a building and is defined by the annual CO2 emissions of a notional building of the same size and shape to the proposed building. TER is expressed in annual kg of CO2 per m2.

The actual building emission rate (BER) for the proposed building (other than dwellings) is calculated based on its actual specification and is expressed in terms of its annual CO2 emissions of the proposed building expressed in kg/m2. The emission rate for self-contained dwellings and individual flats (excluding common areas) is determined using a different calculation, the dwelling emission rate (DER)

The BER for the proposed building must not exceed the TER.

Before construction begins, a design stage calculation must be issued to the Building Control Body (BCB), setting out the TER, and BER for the proposed building, along with details of its proposed specification.

Within 5 days of the completion of the construction, a report must be issued to the Building Control Body (BCB), setting out the TER, and BER of the completed building, along with any changes that have been made to the specification, and an energy performance certificate (EPC). These ‘as-built’ calculations require that an air-permeability test is carried out to ensure that the building envelope has been constructed to a suitably high level of workmanship so that air (and with it, heat) will not ‘leak’ through the building fabric. In addition, the BCB is likely to require a commissioning notice.

For buildings other than dwellings, the TER and BER can be calculated and the EPC produced by following the National Calculation Method (NCM). This can be done by using approved simulation software (Approved Dynamic Simulation Models (DSMs)) or by using the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM), a ‘simplified’ compliance tool developed by BRE, which has a user interface called iSBEM.

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