All Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM), Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Part L compliance checks, BREEAM assessor fees, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis should be quoted separately on any estimates. Quoting all of these separately means that the project team can compare estimates for all of the environmental modelling aspects. In many cases, builders and contractors do not obtain quotes in advance and usually win jobs as a competitive tender, and it is only at this stage when they realise that the fees for environmental modelling are not insignificant. If the process of Project Design and Development are not mapped out at the beginning, more expense can be incurred which can exceed estimates.
In all cases, therefore, it is wise to obtain quotes for a fixed schedule of works, allowing for the time required for the Project team to provide the data needed by the assessor. To collect data, your Energy Assessor will need at least 1 day of chargeable time for a new building and more for an existing building. If insufficient chargeable time is allowed for, then any additional work may have to come out of your own budget.
Ideally, we should be involved from early in the design process until the handover of the completed building. Being involved from the start of the project gives us more scope to check options for the Design team as we use modern methods such as detailed Dynamic Thermal Modelling, early Part L checks, and ‘As Designed EPC’s’. For example, the thermal mass, ventilation openings, night-time free-cooling glass types, and shading need investigating in regards to their ventilation and risk of overheating before developing the drawings of them. Moreover, if we only start working on the project at a later stage, or after completion of the construction, corrective measures such as installing mechanical ventilation, cooling, or solar control film to some of the glazing will increase capital and running costs, environmental emissions, and maintenance costs.