Michael Copley, technical manager at building solutions provider Build Aviator, explains why SAP assessments are more than a calculation, and how they should be viewed as the key between design and build
When it comes to Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) assessments, the ultimate question of course is, are you creating a house or a home? Because your answer to that question will determine the detail in your design, and those details shouldn’t stop at the drawings, but should also translate into the specification.
Naturally, we see a focus on reducing cost when we are asked to support with a SAP assessment, but is shaving a little off the price more important than achieving an improved output? Performance and comfort work in unity, you could seek to achieve the absolute minimum acoustic standards in line with Part E, but would that limit noise transfer from a washing machine or 40-inch TV with surround sound? The same goes for thermal comfort, which is of course impacted by correct detailing, material selection and glazing.
We are the greener generation, energy efficiency isn’t a perquisite it’s an expectation. Over years, decades even, the performance output within building regulation requirements has been increasing and that isn’t something that is likely to waver.
There are some SAP assessors out there that will simply provide a calculation based upon notional values, but this could set up potential problems down the line. The specification in the SAP should be followed to the letter during the build, but if only notional values are given how is it possible to be sure that the products purchased will meet requirements when built on site and that a particular specification will be met? In that way, it is not possible to be 100 per cent certain, as there are too many variables in the building process that influence the end result, but it is achievable to minimise risks. SAP services that drill into the detail and provide information to help with construction as well as design can help with these issues.
At Build Aviator, thousands of product options have been weaved into the SAP service to give a thorough and more accurate insight of the expected building performance. The service is linked with registered construction details too to give a clearer idea of the expected thermal performance. Contractors and on-site inspectors can use the detail sheets to assess the build-up against the design as well.
Build Aviator helps translate design into build, minimising gaps in performance and minimising risk of non-compliance. It doesn't just stop at SAP and RCDs, but includes an estimation, working in labour costs and any profits or margins, keeping things transparent for clients and minimising product deviation during procurement. Furthermore, it can support with air-tightness and acoustic consultation and testing. The inspection sheets and reports documented into an on-site support pack provide the details that will help every part of the on-site team.
For more information and technical support visit: www.buildaviator.co.uk
0121 328 9150