Feb 08 2024 / Blog

SAP Calculations for New Builds: Are They Important?

Ensuring energy efficiency and compliance with regulations is a must when it comes to construction and property development. This is where SAP calculations come into play – whether you’re planning an extension or a conversion, understanding SAP calculations is key.

But are SAP calculations important for new builds? In short, yes – SAP calculations are important for new builds. But why? And what exactly are SAP calculations? How do they work? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on for information on the importance of SAP calculations for new builds.


What Are SAP Calculations?

First of all, SAP stands for Standard Assessment Procedure. It is a method used in the UK to design, assess and rate the energy performance of buildings. SAP Calculations are a requirement of Building Regulations Part L. SAP provides a standardised way to measure the energy efficiency of buildings, helping designers, builders and homeowners to understand and improve their energy usage.

SAP calculations involve analysing factors such as:

  • External floor, wall and roof Insulation
  • Space heating Systems
  • Water Heating Systems
  • Lighting
  • Ventilation

Analysing these factors can help you to determine the energy efficiency rating of a building. This rating is typically represented on a scale from 1 to 100. Higher scores represent a higher energy performance, whereas lower scores indicate room for improvement.

SAP assessments are required for all new domestic builds, as well as certain commercial developments. The goal of SAP calculations is to evaluate the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a building.

SBEM calculations (Simplified Building Energy Model), however, evaluate the energy performance of non-domestic buildings.


Why Are SAP Calculations Important for New Builds?

Now you have an understanding of what SAP calculations are, let’s explore why they are so important when it comes to new builds.


Regulatory Compliance

First of all, SAP calculations can help you to ensure compliance with building regulations. The government has set targets for reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency in buildings, which has raised the bar in the performance of buildings assessed under SAP gradually over the years.

It is crucial a SAP Calculation is carried out before building works commence to ensure the building has a compliant design for building regulations before works commence. Starting building works without a compliant design stage SAP in place can risk failure to comply, and costly remedial works.

Early design SAP calculations providing the build methods to achieve building control approval at the completion stage is a critical part of the building design process. Planning departments in different areas of the country, often request an uplift in Building regulation standards to tie in with their local policy, and SAP Calculations are the tool to demonstrate this performance can be achieved.


Energy Efficiency

Ultimately, SAP calculations provide you with insight into the energy performance of a building. These calculations assess factors such as insulation, ventilation, heating systems and renewable technologies.

With SAP calculations, you can identify areas of improvement. This means you can take the right steps to reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs.



As we become more aware of climate change and carbon emissions, it is more important than ever to future-proof buildings. In the long term, this can reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. Investing in energy-efficient designs can ensure that buildings are compliant with current building standards, and the EPC, will summarise methods to further enhance the building design in the future.


Cost Savings

Finally, SAP calculations can help you cut costs in both the short and long term. Optimising energy performance through SAP calculations can ensure that expenses such as lighting and heating are reduced.

Ultimately, energy-efficient properties can also be rented to tenants for higher costs, and be sold at a higher value on the property market.


How Do SAP Calculations Work?

Ultimately, SAP calculations are key when ensuring that new builds meet the energy standards set out in building regulations. Assessing factors such as insulation, heating systems, ventilation, and renewable technologies through SAP calculations can help you to minimise carbon emissions and optimise energy performance.

SAP calculations evaluate several aspects of a building’s design to determine its energy performance. Here’s how they work:


Design Stage

First of all, we have the design stage. This is where the required design specifications of the building are reviewed to demonstrate compliance with part L of the building regulations.

During the design stage, SAP assessors use site plans and architectural drawings to input relevant data into the SAP software. The SAP Assessor requires floorplans, sections and elevations of your proposed building. Further specification details about insulation, heating systems, ventilation, windows and doors, and renewable technologies are also required.


Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) and Target Emission Rate (TER)

DER is the calculated CO2 emissions from the proposed building design, while TER is the maximum allowable emissions as per building regulations. The DER must be equal to or lower than the TER for compliance.


Dwelling Fabric Energy Efficiency (DFEE) and Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE)

Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) represents the energy demand in Kilowatt-hours per m2. The SAP Assessor will design the DFEE to achieve the TFEE. Factors which typically affect the DFEE performance are U-Values of external elements, thermal bridging and air pressure testing results.


Dwelling Primary Energy Rate (DPER) and Target Primary Energy Rate (TPER)

The DPER has to be designed to achieve the TPER. This parameter assesses the use of different fuels for the building’s energy demand. The key to performing well in this area is the use of renewable technologies such as solar pv and air-source heat pumps for example.


Predicted Energy Assessment

Using the information gathered, SAP software can then generate a predicted energy assessment for the building. This assessment indicates the building’s energy efficiency rating and potential carbon emissions.


Get SAP Calculations with Peninsular Acoustics

If you’re undertaking a new build project, investing in SAP calculations is not only important for regulatory compliance, but can help you to create a more sustainable and future-proof property in the long run.

If you’re in the design stage of new builds, now is the time to commission SAP calculations. This means that if you fail to meet requirements, we can advise you on the next best steps.

At Peninsular Acoustics, we offer comprehensive SAP calculation services to help you achieve regulatory compliance, cut costs, and boost overall energy efficiency. Trust our team of SAP assessors to guide you through the process, from the initial design stage to the final energy performance certificates (EPCs). Ensure your project passes the SAP test with Peninsular Acoustics.

If you’re looking for a guide quotation, contact us today. If you’re looking for a precise quote, however, send a full site floorplans, sections and elevations for your proposed dwelling to [email protected]