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FAQ

Q1 Does the Foresite design software replace the assessors approved version of SAP?

Does the Foresite design software replace the assessors approved version of SAP?

No, quite the opposite, the approved version of SAP used by the assessor is used to calculate the as constructed EPC our version is design software and is used to calculate the SAP Assessment. The revised Part L1A building regulations 2013, states that compliance software interfaced with an approved SAP should be used to calculate the SAP Assessment.

The Foresite online building control system generates customised compliance documents for the fabric and fixed building specification. The online building control system informs the builder that they need to download and complete these compliance documents and return them to the administrator/assessor, these documents are then used by the assessor to calculate the as constructed EPC using their approve version of SAP and register the EPC in exactly the same way as they do at the moment.

The Foresite online design and building control system provides the documentation and calculations that are now mandatory in both design and construction but also compliments the calculation of the as constructed EPC by the assessor.

Q2 Does the U values used in the SAP calculation have to be carried out by a professional?

Does the U values used in the SAP calculation have to be carried out by a professional who has completed a competent scheme in U value design?

No, the revised Part L1A building regulations 2013, states that compliance software interfaced with an approved SAP should be used to calculate the SAP Assessment and that the U values used in the SAP calculation need only to be calculated to BR 433 methodology. As is the case with our system.

Q3 Does the thermal bridge calculation used in the SAP calculation have to be carried out by a professional?

Does the thermal bridge calculation that now needs to be carried out to achieve FEE compliance and used in the SAP calculation have to be carried out by a professional who has completed a competent scheme in thermal bridge design?

No, the revised Part L1A building regulations 2013, states that compliance software interfaced with an approved SAP should be used to calculate the SAP Assessment and that the U values used in the SAP calculation need only to be calculated to BR 497 methodology. As is the case with our system.

Q4 Can the design information generated by the Foresite design software be used?

From the 6th of April 2014, it will be mandatory that design information and calculations are presented to building control before work commences. Can the design information generated by the Foresite design software be used?

Yes, the revised Part L1A building regulations 2013 states that compliance software used to calculate the SAP Assessment should be interfaced with an Approved SAP2012. The Foresite system is approved JPA design software and can therefore be used in the calculation of the SAP Assessment.

The U values generated by the software are to BR 433 and the y factor is calculated to BR 497 (See Q1 & Q2) therefore all these calculations can be submitted to building control before work commences.

Q5 Why does the Foresite system generate customised typical details populated with the compliant design specification for the fabric?

Why does the Foresite system generate customised typical details populated with the compliant design specification for the fabric?

The revised Part L1A building regulations 2013 suggests, that the U value results used in the calculation of SAP should be presented as a specification and not just a U value figure. A builder understands drawings and specifications so the U values used in our SAP Assessment calculation are presented on drawings as a specification describing the materials used- their depths and their thermal conductivity.

Q6 Why does the Foresite library and thermal bridge calculator use the Scottish Acceptable Construction Details?

Why does the Foresite library and thermal bridge calculator use the Scottish Acceptable Construction Details and their psi values and not the English ACDs and psi values?

The Scottish Acceptable Construction Details are the most comprehensive set of details available, they have over 40 typical details for each of the three methods of construction with a total of 120 details compared to the English ACDs with about 40 details in total that are used generically for all methods of construction.

The need for a new set of details has been recognised by the Zero Carbon Hub and one of their recommendations in their interim report is that a new set of details for each method of construction needs to be commissioned. The Foresite system is flexible; if and when a new set of details and psi values are commissioned they can be quickly introduced into our library and thermal bridge calculator.

Q7 Why does the software present design options-FEE standard and extreme fabric design that are better than the 2013 Part L1A regulations.

Why does the software present design options-FEE standard and extreme fabric design that are better than the 2013 Part L1A regulations.

There are a few reasons for this; it allows Code for Sustainable Home Assessors to design Part L1A specifications to levels 3, 4 & 5. Zero Carbon have suggested that to achieve zero carbon the designer has two options design the fabric to the FEE standard or extreme fabric or passive standard backed up with efficient fixed building specifications and low carbon technologies. The government are discussing the introduction of an allowable solution which is a carbon tax for want of a better word and a provisional allowable solution is calculated by the software (not approved).

We see the website as a driving force in delivering zero carbon design and construction compliance, encouraging designers and builders to build to the FEE standard and extreme fabric design. We also plan to work with product manufacturers to encourage them to design and manufacture materials and products that will deliver zero carbon cost effectively and we can use feedback from the online building control system to do this.

Q8 Why is the online building control system required

Why is the online building control system required

There a quite a few reasons why a quality control system is required.

  • From the 6th of April an assessor needs to sign off on Part L1A, the Foresite quality control system allows the assessor to do this with confidence because the builder has signed off on and has taken responsibility for on-site compliance, and this is how it should be.

  • From the 6th of April it is mandatory that the onsite compliance used by the assessor to calculate the as constructed EPC are presented to the building control body. The online building control system does this automatically because an email is sent to all the registered stakeholders including the building control body informing them that the summarised onsite compliance documents can be viewed online using a project ID and password.

  • The online inspection plan keeps all the registered stakeholders informed of what is happening by automatically sending emails to them at critical parts of Part L1A construction. They can view both the design and as constructed specifications and EPCs online using their project IDs and passwords.

    If a stakeholder believes any information posted on the building control system is incorrect then can object, by contacting the administrator of the online quality control system, if not rectified by the administrator the stakeholder can then contact the building control body who can legally enforce compliance. This is the self-regulating aspect of the Foresite system.

  • If a project has been: Designed using the Foresite design software; Tendered for using the Foresite tender documents and drawings; Gone through the Foresite building control system, that this will add value to the dwelling.

    In the future, anybody purchasing the property can view online using a project ID and password: How the project was designed and to what performance level it was designed to; the quality control system will proved that it was constructed to at least that the design performance level or better adding value to the property.

  • Foresite will be using the feedback from the building control system to encourage product manufacturers and designers to develop materials and products that will help deliver Part L1A more efficiently and cost affectively.

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