360 Energy recently conducted a survey on a shell office unit in Bangor (circa 3000sq/ft), the client was aware of the fact that ‘Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)’ are being implemented in England and Wales from April 2018. Although the introduction of MEPS to Northern Ireland is to be confirmed, past experience has shown us that NI normally follows suit to the rest of the UK in relation to building energy standards. The client has held this property for some time and was unsure of their plans for it going forward but what he was sure of was, that if they were requiring and paying for an EPC currently and said EPC was valid for 10 years they wanted to make sure they was going to comply with MEPS.
The Unit was a 1st to 3rd story shell, prime for town centre offices above occupied retail units. There was no fixed heating but mains gas available. The roof was uninsulated and the lighting was a mixture of high energy tungsten bulbs, T8 tubes, and a few compact Fluorescent bulbs. When the data was first inputted into SBEM (the software used for calculating the energy demand and consumption of a commercial property) the rating was a ‘G 160’. This was way off the 125 rating required for MEPS therefore we began to consider the easiest improvements to implement and the most cost effective way to boost the property rating to an ‘E’.
360 Energy came up with 3 options: –
Option 1 – Installation of LED Bulbs throughout
Option 2 – Installation of 300mm Mineral wool in the loft
Option 3 – Installation of a gas combi boiler and radiators
Of course the first 2 options would be the easiest and carry the least cost however it was worth considering the 3rd option as any future office would require a heating source therefore the 3rd option could have killed two birds with one stone.
As it turned out, installation of LED lighting alone reduced the rating from ‘G 160’ to ‘E 122’. Installation of mineral wool alone was not sufficient to achieve an ‘E’ therefore the conclusion was obvious.
The client was happy to proceed with the installation of new LED lighting and with a further site visit 2 days later, the client had a property which was complying with MEPS and therefore avoiding any future complications with letting or selling if MEPS is implemented in Northern Ireland.