The SAP assessment is now a standard for any building or construction project in the UK, and it falls under Part L of the Building Regulations for England, Wales, and Scotland. SAP assessments, or SAP calculations, as they are also known, are more comprehensive than the regular EPC or Energy Performance Certificate, and in fact, any SAP will already contain an EPC, but EPCs will not include a SAP assessment. If you are trying to get your building or structure approved for either selling or renting, you will need to get a SAP assessment. But it also follows that the rating should be good as well. Here, then, are some top tips to achieve the best rating for your building’s SAP assessment.
Make use of an assessor who is accredited
First of all, you should make use of an assessor who is fully accredited. The assessor for your SAP assessment should be well-versed with the updated regulations regarding SAP EPCs as the regulations and rules change all the time. Your assessor should also be fully aware of how they will impact the cost of your build, so they should assess your property accordingly. Even if you initially save a few pounds on a less expensive SAP, this could result in tremendous expenses if you have to make changes later on due to poor or incompetent advice.
Have your SAP assessment performed at the beginning
It would also be best if you could have your SAP assessment performed in the beginning phase – which means having it done while your project is still in the design stage, prior to any work done on the property or site. Remember that Part L regulations are continuously changing, so you won’t want to make any retrospective improvements or changes to your development or structure if you find out that it has failed its SAP assessment.
Make an investment in a good fabric and foundations
One of the foremost things you can do for your building or development is to invest in a good fabric and foundations. You may not even have to invest too much in renewable technology if your building’s fabric is already of good quality because the fabric’s U values are already reduced.
Find ways of lowering thermal mass
Another way for you to achieve a higher rating in the SAP is to find ways of lowering thermal mass. A lower thermal mass or timber frame would mean that your building’s heating system doesn’t have to heat up the fabric as much.
Consider renewable technology
In the same vein, you should also seriously consider renewable technology. More property owners today are installing wastewater heat recovery systems along with wood-burning stoves, photovoltaic panels, and the like. You may be surprised at how budget-friendly these options have become, and they are less expensive to install compared to other options for a good SAP rating.
Don’t forget proper insulation for party walls
If you want the most satisfactory results for your SAP calculation, don’t forget proper insulation for party walls, either. Prioritise the full sealing and insulation of your party walls so you can avoid the escape of heat between different dwellings, and this is particularly crucial in apartments and mid-terrace housing.