A BER (Building Energy Rating) certificate is an indication of how well a building performs in terms of energy consumption and associated carbon dioxide emissions: the lower the consumption of energy, the higher the rating. The calculation is based on a number of factors such as the insulation performance of the building envelope (floor, walls and roof including windows, etc.), the heating system, heating controls, ventilation, energy rating on lighting, etc. A BER certificate comes with an Advisory Report which identifies how the performance can be improved. We are often asked what the BER of the extension will be. House extensions are not rated separately, but as part of the overall rating of the home. As such, the question might be, “How will the house extension affect the BER rating of my home?” In the vast majority of cases it will significantly improve the BER of the house.
The best way to dissect the performance of the extension is to look at the components of the house extension and how they perform, i.e. floors, walls and roof. Current building regulations in Ireland are considered by many to be as high as they need to be for our temperate climate (wet, but no extreme temperatures). It is important to ensure that buildings are completed to be in compliance with these regulations and to a high standard of quality. Shomera’s standard specification for floors, walls, roof and finishes all exceed current building regulations. In addition, because we use mostly timber-frame on the walls and roof, a very good level of airtightness is achieved.
Other considerations are important too, like how well the windows, doors and rooflights are sealed at junctions. Because we exceed building regulations, ensure a high quality of build and pay attention to the detail, your house extension will keep you warm and cosy while contributing to lowering your bills.