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Level 5 EPCs

Introduction to Level 5 EPCs

Whilst the vast majority of commercial buildings are adequately served by level 3 or 4 EPC assessments some have systems so complex that they require a level 5 EPC in order to produce an accurate picture of their energy efficiency. A level 5 EPC requires a highly detailed on-site survey and the information gathered to be processed using Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) software. They represent the highest possible level of assessment within the formal Energy Performance Certification framework and may only be performed by the most qualified assessors who have passed extensive degree-level training.

Criteria for Level 5 EPC Assessment

A level 5 EPC survey is mandatory if a building has:-

  • Substantial glass Atria or lightwells.

  • Automatic Blind Control.

  • Ventilation with enhanced thermal coupling to structure.

 

They are also highly recommended if a building has significant renewable energy systems installed and/or a high degree of glass walling. If you are in any doubt about what level EPC your building requires please contact us.

Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) Explained

DSM (Dynamic Simulation Model) and refers to the detailed 3D building model which is created within specialist software that allows for a far higher degree of accuracy. It utilises 365 days-a-year real-world weather simulation specific to the building's location as well as gauging daylight penetration into the interior of the thermal envelope. It can also recreate the interplay between surrounding building structures and how their shade or reflection interact with the building being assessed. An example from one of our Level 5 case studies can be seen below:

Level 5 DSM EPC hotel

Benefits of Level 5 EPC for Commercial Properties

Compared to a level 3 or 4 EPC the level of accuracy a Level 5 EPC provides means that for the majority of buildings a substantial uplift in EPC score will be seen. It is also entirely possible to have a level 3 or 4 assessment made using the DSM software as again the accuracy often leads to a better EPC result and many landlords seeking the highest possible rating for their asset elect to do so. As the commercial property market moves in an ever-greener direction and the commercial benefits become more tangible we are seeing more and more requests for this level of assessment.

Navigating the Level 5 EPC Process

From a landlord's perspective a level 5 EPC isn't enormously different from commissioning any of our other types of energy assessment but the following should be noted

  • The initial consultation & negotiation is likely to take longer.

  • Detailed graphical floorplans are critically important.

  • You should allow at least one whole day for the on-site survey.

  • The entire post-survey stage takes substantially longer due to the complexity of modelling buildings accurately. In our experience we would allow up to a calendar month, certainly several weeks, before results could be expected.

  • The cost of a level 5 EPC is reflected in the substantial team work-hours it accrues along with the increased cost of lodgement (over six times higher than a level 3 or 4 EPC).

Case Study - Substantial EPC rating improvement

The video below previews the substantial EPC rating uplift we achieved for a hotel which had a failing EPC score. The full write-up can be read here.

Why Choose Haptic for Your Level 5 EPC?

We are fully qualified Level 5 assessors, relish a challenge and we are always enthusiastic about complex and unusual buildings. We offer level 5 assessments on a nationwide basis, as far afield as two assessments for hotels in Edinburgh - far from our usual territory of central London. One of these (see clip above) saw an astonishing improvement from its former EPC rating by over 100 points - all thanks to an incredibly detailed site survey and the DSM software.

Contact Us today for Your Level 5 EPC

If you'd like a level 5 EPC or are unsure if you are required to have one or indeed would simply like to discuss energy assessments in general please don't hesitate to contact us.

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