SBEM & DSM and the RIBA Plan of Work

What is SBEM & DSM?

All new non-residential buildings must comply with Part L2a of the Building Regulations. The Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) and Dynamic Simulation Model (DSM) which is also known as thermal modelling, are both approved methods of undertaking Part L2a compliance calculations. With guidance and assistance from concept stages through to project completion, Stroma Built Environment can support your developments with SBEM and DSM.

SBEM & DSM services – Why choose Stroma Built Environment?

Stroma Built Environment have a highly trained and experienced team of energy consultants that can address all aspects of SBEM & DSM to improve the energy performance of your developments.

We are experienced in working on a wide spectrum of projects:


Healthcare Buildings


Large Residential

Commercial Buildings

We are able to provide you with in-depth knowledge and analysis as well as innovative and cost-effective solutions. With an additional 9% reduction required in CO2 emissions compared to 2010 standards, meeting compliance requirements with Part L2a 2013 is becoming increasingly more challenging. Stroma Built Environment can assist you in reducing this compliance burden with our SBEM & DSM services. We offer flexible and cost effective solutions to meet the needs of our clients and offer the benefit of value-added assistance throughout your projects.

SBEM & DSM methods

SBEM & DSM calculate the energy used and CO2 emissions generated by a building through the modelling of the building’s features, including:

  • Building geometry, location and orientation
  • Thermal performance (U-values, air tightness)
  • Building services (HVAC)
  • Lighting
  • Control

Whilst both SBEM & DSM methods are approved for undertaking compliance assessments, DSM is a significantly more accurate assessment and, in the majority of cases, DSM offers the design team significant benefits, not least of which is peace of mind.

Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) Calculations

DSM calculations are more powerful than SBEM and more accurately reflect the building being modelled. DSM calculations run iterations at 10-minute intervals throughout the year, linking to actual historical weather data and accurate sun path analysis. It is features such as this (not available in SBEM) which provide the greatest benefit to assessment.

DSM if often required due to the complexity of the building. For instance, if the building design incorporates an atrium or has an unusual heating, cooling or ventilation strategy then you may need a DSM. This model can be tailored to be more reflective of a complicated design. If your building design incorporates extensive glazing, non-standard wall or roof shapes or a bespoke services strategy then there is a strong possibility that you will need a DSM.

Our team of energy assessors are all trained and accredited in the use of industry-leading DSM software, IES Virtual Environment, to ensure accurate and comprehensive calculations for your projects and to standardise the workflow with other services.

SBEM & DSM Methods

SBEM Assessments

SBEMs are designed to assess and compare energy in non-residential buildings. Nearly all new non-domestic buildings require an SBEM prior to construction and it is normally a requirement of Building Control at this early stage.

SBEM is a computer programme that provides an analysis of a building’s energy consumption, including monthly energy use and carbon emissions. This was developed for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to partially satisfy the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

If your new commercial premises is over 50m2, you will need an SBEM assessment as a mandatory requirement. Some extensions and renovations will also need an SBEM assessment, although there are some exceptions such as places of worship and unheated buildings.

An SBEM assessment comes in two parts. The design stage SBEM assessment is the first part which needs to be completed before construction starts. The second stage is when the building is completed. This is called an as-built SBEM and will also include the results of the air tightness test (if completed). An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can then be issued.

SBEM Assessments


SBEM & DSM Case Studies

Request a quote for SBEM & DSM

We recommend getting in touch with our team at the earliest possible stage in your development to help you optimise levels of energy performance and sustainability for your projects as well as saving you additional cost. Fill out our quote form with your requirements for SBEM & DSM and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss our services which can help you.

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