Energy assessors are responsible for producing SAP, BRUKL and EPC documents on behalf of those creating new buildings.

These can be used to show how a new building complies with rules for lower carbon design.

Only the EPC is audited by an assessor’s accreditation body. An EPC with an associated ‘as built’ SAP or BRUKL document is therefore the most reliable verification of the accuracy of the SAP or BRUKL document for a third party.

This brief guide is to help third parties interpret the documents and understand what is being shown or verified about a buildings performance. In the points below we will explain the differences between SAP, BRUKL and EPC outputs, and between design and as built stage.

What do EPC, SAP or BRUKL Documents Show?

SAP and BRUKL documents are produced to demonstrate compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations for conservation of fuel and power, and are sometimes referred to by local planning authorities when checking compliance with related low carbon policies.

SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) documents are produced for dwellings, while BRUKL (Building Regulations UK, Part L) documents refer to non-domestic buildings.

BRUKL documents are sometimes referred to as SBEM reports (Simplified Building Energy Model) after the most common methodology used to produce them.

SAP and BRUKL documents show a DER or a BER, the Dwelling or Building Emission Rate, which is a predictive measure of carbon produced by the buildings operation in kg per m2 per year. For new buildings, this must fall below the TER (Target Emission Rate). The TER is unique to each building and is the main requirement of Part L of the Building Regulations.

Certain other rules arising from Part L are also assessed and shown using SAP and BRUKL documents. These include a domestic Target Fabric Energy Efficiency and certain minimum standards for fabric and equipment performance.

The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a consumer orientated certificate showing running costs and certain other information for comparison between buildings.

EPC, SAP and BRUKL documents are issued by accredited energy assessors using government approved software packages. These documents can vary aesthetically between software providers, but each contains the same data and methodology. Some assessors also chose to provide their own summary of results or assumptions to supplement the documents produced by the software.

What is ‘design stage’ and ‘as built’?

SAP and BRUKL reports are issued at design stage to show predicted results, based on a specification planned by the design team or one recommended by the assessor. These are not a confirmation of final performance, but a prediction, if the dimensions and specification are accurate and remain unchanged during the build.

‘As built’ reporting is produced after construction to reflect the completed building.

An EPC is produced alongside the ‘as built’ documentation following a verification process comprising a mix of on-site testing, third party certification and self-declaration.

It is possible to verify which ‘stage’ a BRUKL or SAP document is issued at by looking at it’s title page or similar.

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