- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Jul 2014
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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air permeability testing.
- Approved documents.
- Building regulations.
- Dwelling emission rate.
- National Calculation Method.
- Simplified Building Energy Model.
- Standard Assessment Procedure.
- Target emission rate.
 External references
- Planning portal: Approved document L.
Featured articles and news
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.
BRE and Loughborough University complete first phase refurbishment of demonstration home.
How the risk of collapse of fibrous plaster ceilings is being addressed in theatres.
If you’re a great writer and have practical experience of the construction industry, it could be you.
Frustrated by long documents or technical jargon? Put off by sign-up forms or costs? Take this 5 min survey to help improve construction knowledge.