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Colorcoat Technical Paper validated by SBEM

29 February 2008 No Comment

The latest revision of Part L was launched in April 2006 amongst much confusion in the construction industry.  The non-domestic part (ADL2A) of the regulations is now reliant on a whole-building carbon emissions calculation carried out by a piece of software known as SBEM.  SBEM is continually being updated by the BRE and Version 3.01 of SBEM was launched on the 12th of February 2008. 

This latest version of SBEM implements, for the first time, one of the fundamental aspects of Part L – that buildings should be designed so that they do not overheat.

One of the important balancing acts to be achieved when designing to the latest Part L is in specifying level of natural lighting.  Of course, natural lighting helps to make the building comfortable and if matched by a good lighting control system, can help to minimise energy usage too.  However, the problem with natural light is that it tends to come alongside natural heat, better known as solar gain.

In our Colorcoat Technical Paper, “In-plane rooflights for low energy buildings” Corus demonstrate how the effects of light and heat can be balanced-out by using a proportion of rooflights in single-storey buildings. 

Whilst some have been calling for 15% or even 20% of roofs to be transparent, the results reported in the paper show that this can lead to overheating of buildings. Now, for the first time, the requirement to avoid overheating has been included in SBEM and this is completely in line with the results reported in the Corus Colorcoat Technical Paper. 

“This is great news” says Ian Clarke, Applications Development Manager at Corus.  “When we studied the effects of these high levels of rooflights, we knew it was wrong and that buildings would be overheating.  The fact that the latest version of SBEM has included this is really important for designing buildings which are comfortable to occupy at the same time as producing very low carbon emissions.  It also provides some valuable external validation for the work which we have done.”

The Colorcoat Technical Paper “In-plane rooflights for low energy buildings” which is certified as Core Curriculum for RIBA CPD is avaliable to download here or can be obtained from the Colorcoat Connection helpline.

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