For those new to building/project development the various words and technical terms featured within the construction industry can be quite confusing. We have produced a Glossary to provide some further clarity as to what it all means.
If there is a gap in your knowledge and you can't find what you are looking for here, feel free to give us a call- we will be happy to help.
Air Tightness/Air Leakage/Air Permeability
Is a measure of the amount of air (uncontrolled) that is lost through gaps and cracks within the building.
As-built is a term given to a type of energy calculation (SAP or SBEM) once construction is completed. It looks at the energy performance of the constructed building and determines if it has changed since the design stage.
Building Control/Building Control Body
An independent body which ensures building/design work complies with current building codes and regulation requirements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Building Control Officers are referred to as Verifiers in Scotland.
The physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light and noise transfer,
The structural materials, cladding, insulation, finishes etc. that enclose the interior of a building, separating the internal from the external.
The guidelines that buildings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland must follow. Each part of the UK will have different technical booklets/approved documents associated to energy performance.
The systems installed in buildings to make them functional, comfortable, efficient and safe.
The guidelines that buildings in Scotland must follow. Energy Performance in Scotland for new and existing buildings is covered by Section 6.
A part of a building that must comply with the Building Regulations when being installed or replaced.
Change of Energy Status
Any change which results in a building becoming a building to which energy efficiency requirements of Building Regulation apply, where previously it did not. This can occur where a previously unheated space becomes heated/cooled.
Design Stage is a term given to a type of energy calculation (SAP or SBEM) which looks at the energy performance of a building based on its design and specifications . This is undertaken before construction commences and completed using architects plans and drawings.
A self contained unit of accommodation (house, apartment, flat).
Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM)
DSM is an energy modelling software used to analyse the energy performance of Level 5 commercial buildings. It is used as an alternative to SBEM Calculation, and often yields a more accurate energy assessment.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An Energy Performance Certificate shows the Energy Performance of a Building from A to G. Without this document you are unable to market a property for sale or let.
Material Change of Use
When there is a change in the purposes or circumstances in which a building is used. i.e. Shop is converted into a dwelling.
National Calculation Method (NCM)
The approved methodology used for calculating the energy performance of non-dwellings, as defined by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). SBEM and DSM are software interfaces which adopt the NCM.
A building other than a dwelling (commercial building, offices, shop etc).
The heat loss associated with the non-repeated thermal bridge.
The Building regulations which apply in Northern Ireland concerning the conservation of fuel and power in new buildings (dwellings and non-dwellings). All new buildings in Northern Ireland will need to comply with the standards provided in Part F approved documents. Not to be confused with Part F in England which covers ventilation requirements to maintain indoor air quality.
The Building regulations which apply in England concerning the conservation of fuel and power in new buildings (dwellings and non-dwellings). All new buildings in England will need to comply with Part L standards provided in the approved documents.
An Energy Performance Certificate produced at Design Stage. Produced as a result of energy calculations based on building plans and specifications.
Retained Thermal Elements
Elements that are present in a building from its previous use, which separate a thermally conditioned part of the building from the outside air or ground
The Building standards which apply in Scotland concerning the conservation of fuel and power in new buildings (dwellings and non-dwellings). All new buildings in Scotland will need to comply with Section 6 standards provided in the technical booklets.
Simplified Building Energy Modelling (SBEM)
The approved national calculation software used to determine the CO2 emissions and overall energy performance of commercial buildings before and after construction.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)
The approved national calculation software used to determine the CO2 emissions and overall energy performance of new build dwellings before and after construction.
An element which separates a thermally conditioned part of the building from the outside air or ground.
An area of a building construction which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials.
The thermal transmittence of a building element/fabric/material. A low U-Value represents a good insulator.
Grants building warrants in Scotland once satisfied that the design will meet the relevant standards. Essentially, has the same role as a Building Control Officer in England.
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