Commercial EPCs stem from The European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which in turn takes instruction from the Kyoto Protocol. This seeks to reduce the CO2 emissions from buildings. The Commercial EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) measures the built in energy performance of a building, its assets, by looking at the site orientation, fabric, heating, lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation of the property.
Since January 2009 practically all commercial buildings require an EPC on the sale, letting or sub-letting. The Commercial EPC and its Recommendations Report must be made available to interested parties prior to marketing.
The Commercial EPC has a penalty for non-compliance – normally 12.5% of the rateable value of the property, rising from a minimum of £500, to a maximum of £5000.
The only exceptions to the necessity of a Commercial EPC are:
- Places of Worship
- Temporary buildings ( 2 years or less )
- Stand alone (ie detached) buildings < 50 m2
- Buildings due for demolition
- A limited number of agricultural and industrial sites that are deemed low energy demand
- Lease renewals
Commercial EPC buildings are divided into levels 3, 4 & 5
- A Commercial EPC level 3 building is normally small to medium sized, importantly it has cooling < 12kw output and heating < 100kw output.
- A Commercial EPC level 4 building is much more complex, in terms of HVAC. Ventilated or conditioned air is provided through ducting, usually from centralised AHU and plant. An accurate, detailed survey and assessment should only be undertaken by competent, experienced professionals.
- A Commercial EPC Level 5 buildings are those with significant amounts of glass atria or passive cooling. Dynamic Simulation Modeling is used to mimic complicated air flows and to generate the most accurate rating.
For a recent update on the EPC regulations, please see here.