SBEM screen

Simplified tool which provides an analysis of a building's energy consumption primarily for the purposes of assessing compliance with Part L (England & Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) of Building Regulations and eventually for building performance certification EPBD in UK. SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) calculates monthly energy use and carbon dioxide emissions of a building given a description of the building’s geometry, construction, use, and HVAC and lighting equipment. It was originally based on the Dutch methodology NEN 2916:1998 (Energy Performance of Non-Residential Buildings) and has since been modified to comply with the emerging CEN Standards. SBEM makes use of standard sets of data for different activity areas and calls on databases of construction and building service elements. It is accompanied by a basic user interface - iSBEM.

SBEM consists of a calculation methodology which runs together with a Compliance Checking Module (BRUKL). The iSBEM interface integrates these components together and interacts with a series of databases to provide consistent data to the calculation while simplifying the user's need to obtain detailed building data. Screen Shots


energy consumption/performance, carbon dioxide emissions, UK building regulations, compliance checking, non-residential buildings


SBEM algorithms were originally based on the Dutch methodology NEN 2916:1998 (Energy Performance of Non-Residential Buildings) and has since been modified to comply with the emerging CEN Standards.

Expertise Required

Candidates for assessment of buildings under Building Regulations in UK will be expected to have undertaken appropriate training in the use of SBEM and to have experience of applying the tool to real building designs. Calculations carried out by competent persons will be deemed to meet the requirements of Building Regulations for the purposes of Building control. Training courses and Competent Person Scheme examination are currently available on


Approximately 2500, UK


Approved competent persons to show compliance with Building Regulations in UK and building developers.


Building geometry, thermal characteristics of constructions, characteristics of HVAC, DHW, and lighting equipment as well as those of any integrated renewable energy systems such as wind generators, solar thermal systems, photovoltaic systems, and CHP generators. The readable, structured input file is generated by the iSBEM interface, or it may be generated by other accredited software interfaces. The program contains some default values, such as for HVAC system efficiencies, but some parameters are required.


Annual and monthly energy consumption of the building by end use and fuel type and whole building carbon dioxide emissions in pre-formatted reports in html format and some as comma-separated spreadsheet-ready files.

Computer Platform

The current version of iSBEM is a Microsoft Access application which runs on Microsoft Access 2000 onwards on a Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP. At least 128MB RAM on a Pentium II computer is recommended.

Programming Language

SBEC is C++, iSBEM is Access database


The purpose of this simplified tool, SBEM and its interface, is to produce consistent and reliable evaluations of energy use in non-domestic buildings primarily for the purposes of assessing compliance with UK Building Regulations 2006 and eventually for building performance certification.


SBEM is not a design tool. If the performance of a particular feature is critical to the design, even if it can be represented in SBEM, it is prudent to use the most appropriate modelling tool for design purposes. In any case, SBEM should not be used for system sizing or making critical design decisions.



Building Research Establishment


Bucknalls Lane
Watford WD25 9XX
United Kingdom


+44 (1923) 664000




Free to download from web site.