Ber- The Building Energy Rating

by Sam braidley - Date: 2010-09-23 - Word Count: 705 Share This!

BER or Building Energy Rating scheme has been in force in Ireland since 1st January 2009.
If you are buying or renting a building can you gauge the energy onsumption you would encounter just by it's appearance? Would you have the time and money to carry out surveys every time you inspect such a building? The BER is meant to give you this information and to guide you in such situations. A higher BER will assuredly make you pay more for your energy through out the year.

What is BER?
Most of you are aware of the European Energy Label system applied to domestic electrical appliances. The rating goes from A to G in alphabetical order where A takes the pinnacle position in energy efficiency. (A+ and A++ are additional gradings at the upper end, adapted since 2004 for exceptional energy efficiency). A colour is assigned to each rating which is green for rating A. The lowest efficiency
rating G is assigned Red. The BER too follows the same grading pattern with the exception that the most energy efficient building is assigned rating A, without any exceptional ratings.
In addition each grade or colour represents an energy range per unit area of a particular building. Carbon dioxide emission per annum too is calculated and recorded as a separate entity to indicate how green your future abode would be.

How is BER determined?
A building wastes energy through:

Poorly insulated and poorly weather-stripped envelope (skin),
Incorrect energy settings of regulating devices. 9
Outdated or defective regulating devices and mechanical equipment
Poorly insulated hot water systems, attics, roofs, etc
Poorly insulated Internal dry lining,
Poorly designed Lighting systems
Poorly designed Heating, ventilation and Air conditioning systems
Inferior or poorly done vapour barriers.
Thin glazing of windows (instead of double glazing etc.)
Poor Landscaping of the surroundings (lack of shading) etc.

A building envelope that can keep the thermal energy within the building in the winter (or in the alternative keep thermal energy at bay in the summer) is energy efficient. Internal dry wall lining do contribute to building energy efficiency. So are the well insulated heating and hot water systems in buildings. Correctly set accurate thermostats, mixing and diverting valves etc save your home energy.

Lighting accounts for a major portion of your home electricity load. Correct design and use of energy efficient lamps etc will make the system efficient. The HVAC system consumes the most energy in a building. A good retrofit all round or a well designed system in a new building is certainly going to improve your BER. However, only the important and practical applications of the above causes are considered when working out the BER.
Apart from the energy efficiency the emission of green house gas CO2 is too rated and indicated in the BER. Large Building using Centralized HVAC systems and usage of renewable energy is encouraged in this scheme.
In order to determine how efficient a building is, several parameters need to be checked by specialized personnel using specialized tools.

Who is responsible?
All buildings that will be constructed for occupation or sale after 1st January 2009 must possess a BER certificate (with a few minor exceptions).If you are buying or renting a new house of such recent vintage you can demand your land lord or the owners representative for the relevant BER, to give you an idea of the estimated energy expended annually in that building.
A dwelling for which Planning Application has been submitted on or before 1st December 2006 and where the external walls have been completely erected by 1st June 2008 is exempted from BER requirements.
Further more Part 1 of Building Regulations is satisfied by the BER issued for a new dwelling.

Who re authorized to carry out BER assessment?
It is an offence under the laws of Ireland to carry our BER assessment by unauthorized personnel for the purpose of the certificate. A properly qualified BER assessor is a person purpose trained by SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority, Ireland) and listed as such in their records which also can be obtained from their web site. is your friendly advisor for Building Energy ratings. We will help you to find suitable BER assessors and BER improvement contractors

Related Tags: ber energy rating, bulding energy rating, energy ratings, home energy saving scheme, ber

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