Building standards technical handbook 2022: non-domestic

Guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This handbook applies to a building warrant submitted on or after 1 June 2022 and to building work which does not require a warrant commenced from that date.

6.9 Energy performance certificates

Mandatory Standard

Standard 6.9

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that:

  1. an energy performance certificate for the building is affixed to the building, and *

c. the energy performance certificate is displayed in a prominent place within the building.


  1. this standard does not apply to:

    1. buildings which do not use fuel or power for controlling the temperature of the internal environment

    2. non-domestic buildings and buildings that are ancillary to a dwelling that are standalone having an area less than 50 square metres

    3. conversions, alterations and extensions to buildings other than—

      (aa) alterations and extensions to stand-alone buildings having an area less than 50 square metres that would increase the area to 50 square metres or more, and

      (bb) alterations to buildings involving the fit-out of the building shell which is the subject of a continuing requirement, or

    4. limited life buildings which have an intended life of less than 2 years

  2. Standard 6.9(c) only applies to buildings:

    1. with a floor area of more than 250 square metres

    2. into which members of the public have an express or implied licence to enter, and

    3. which are visited by members of the public on at least a weekly basis

* Standard 6.9(b) removed by the Building (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (

6.9.0 Introduction

Article 12 of Directive 2010/31/EU ( on the Energy Performance of Buildings requires that, when buildings or building units are constructed, sold or rented out, an energy performance certificate (EPC) or a copy thereof is shown to the prospective new tenant or buyer and handed over to the buyer or new tenant. Standard 6.9 ensures the continued presence of such information for buyers and tenants by also making EPCs fixtures within buildings.

EPCs must be produced in an independent manner and be carried out by qualified/accredited experts. With the exception of EPCs produced in relation to a building warrant applied for before 9 January 2013, EPCs must be produced by members of an Approved Organisation. Scottish Ministers have appointed a number of Approved Organisations (AO) to deliver certification services, with each AO following an Operating Framework which is published on the Building Standards Division website. Information on this framework and Approved Organisations can be found at (

Scottish Ministers have directed local authorities to apply Standard 6.9 (a) to all existing buildings using Section 25 (2) of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003. The Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008, as amended, place a duty on owners to make EPCs available to prospective buyers and tenants. There are also requirements in those regulations for display of an EPC in buildings exceeding 250m2 floor area, for both public buildings and buildings frequently visited by the public.

Definitions in application of this standard 'energy performance certificate' has the same meaning as given in The Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (

Guidance leaflets are available on the Building Standards Division website ( explaining the action that building owners need to take in order to comply.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4 Standard 6.9 does not apply.

6.9.1 Calculating the carbon dioxide emissions for a certificate

The EU Directive allows energy performance to be reflected in one or more numeric indicators. For this to be done in a transparent manner that is meaningful in terms of Scottish building regulations, the measure to be used is carbon dioxide.

Methodology and calculation tool - the certification must be carried out using the Directive compliant methodology and the calculation tool which was used to assess compliance with Standard 6.1. In many cases the SBEM calculation tool ( will have been used for the new building. However if an approved detailed simulation model has been used to comply with Standard 6.1 it is acceptable to use it to do the energy performance calculation to produce the certificate. Scottish climate data should be used in preference to generic UK data.

Use of actual values, Non-domestic buildings - for the purpose of a establishing a rating for the energy performance certificate for a new building, the values and specifications used to obtain building warrant (as varied by any subsequent amendments to warrant) should be adopted. Where a building contains multiple units a rating can be produced for either the whole building or for each individual unit. However if a non-domestic building incorporates within it a dwelling (e.g. a caretaker's flat), a separate certificate should always be provided for the dwelling and reference should be made to the Domestic Technical Handbook.

6.9.2 Information to be provided for buildings

The energy performance certificate must display the following information:

  • the postal address of the building for which the certificate is issued

  • a unique reference number (other than for an EPC produced in support of a building warrant applied for before 9 January 2013)

  • the date of the assessment

  • the date of the certificate

  • the building type

  • the calculation tool used for certification

  • the conditioned floor area of the building

  • a primary energy indicator

  • the current and potential building energy performance rating expressed on a seven band scale representing the following bands of carbon dioxide emissions; A, B, C, D, E, F and G, where A = excellent and G = very poor

  • the approximate current CO2 emissions expressed in kg of CO2 per m2 of floor area per annum

  • the approximate current energy use expressed in kWh per m2 of floor area per annum

  • the building energy performance rating of the building if built to building regulations current at the date of issue

  • a statement indicating that more detailed information on the recommendations made in the EPC is contained in the recommendations report, and

  • a statement to the effect that the EPC must be affixed to the building and not to be removed unless it is replaced with an updated version.

The recommendations report, which must accompany the EPC, but which does not have to be affixed to the building or displayed, includes the following additional information:

  • further information on recommended improvement measures and sources of further advice

  • the main type of heating and fuel

  • the type of electricity generation

  • whether or not there is any form of building integrated renewable energy generation

  • the type of ventilation system, and

  • the name and contact details of the party who carried out the assessment and (if applicable) Approved Organisation membership number.

An example of the EPC and recommendations report is available on the Building Standards Division website (

Cost-effective improvement - there are limited cost-effective, energy-efficiency improvements that can be made to the fabric of a building (when no other work is proposed) such as upgrade insulation in an accessible roof space. However there are several low cost measures that can be done to the building services. Examples are:

  • fitting low energy lamps throughout the building

  • installing lighting management systems

  • insulating pipe-valves, and

  • fitting variable speed motor control for fans and pumps.

Measures presented on the certificate and recommendations report must meet Scottish building regulations, be relevant to the individual building and be technically feasible.

Additional advice - the recommendations report may give additional advice on projected energy costs and improvements that are cost-effective only when additional work is being carried out e.g. providing insulation when replacing flat roof coverings. Assessors may also wish to identify improvements with longer payback periods and are either aspirational (e.g. photovoltaics) or enhanced management and control features (e.g. automatic monitoring and targeting with alarms for out of range values). Sources of further energy saving advice and funding options are also noted in the recommendations report.

6.9.3 Location of an energy performance certificate

Public buildings over 250m2 - new buildings with an area over 250m2 occupied by public authorities and by institutions providing public services to a large number of persons and therefore frequently visited by these persons, must have an energy performance certificate displayed in a prominent place. A suitable location would be an area of wall which is clearly visible to the public in the main entrance lobby or reception.

The public buildings referred to in the paragraph above are described and characterised by meeting all of the following criteria:

  1. the area of the building is over 250m2

  2. the building is occupied by public authorities or provides public services to a large number of persons

  3. the building is frequently visited, at least weekly, by members of the general public

  4. the public have a right of access to the building or the parts thereof providing services directly to the public, and

  5. public funding, even in part, is used in the operation of the building, or in the general upkeep of the building or in funding costs of staff employed therein.

Examples of such buildings are:

  • colleges (further education, higher education), universities

  • community centres

  • concert halls, theatres

  • crematoria

  • day centres

  • education centres, schools (nursery, primary, secondary, special)

  • exhibition halls (multi-function centres)

  • headquarters’ buildings (of local authorities such as district councils, health & social services trusts and boards, education and library boards, etc.) where the public have an unqualified right of access (for example to attend council meetings, parliamentary meetings or other events to which the public have access)

  • health centres, hospitals

  • hostels, halls of residence

  • law courts

  • leisure centres, swimming pools, sports pavilions

  • libraries, museums, art galleries

  • offices (passport office, motor tax office, benefits office, etc.) having a public counter and providing services directly to the public

  • outdoor centres

  • passenger terminals (rail, bus, sea, and air)

  • police stations (with a public counter)

  • residential care buildings

  • visitor centres, and

  • youth centres.

The above list is not comprehensive, but indicates the type of buildings which should display an energy performance certificate.

Buildings over 250m2 frequently visited by the Public - where a new building, other than a public building, has a floor area of more than 250 square metres, members of the public have an express or implied licence to enter and it is so visited on at least a weekly basis, the EPC produced on completion must be displayed as for a public building (noted above).

The types of buildings which would fall into this category include:

  • Supermarkets

  • Banks

  • Sports clubs

  • Shopping centres

The requirement for owners and occupiers of existing buildings to display of an EPC is now addressed under regulation 9 of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008, as amended. This was introduced through The Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Regulation 2012 (

Other building types - for all other buildings, the energy performance certificate should be indelibly marked and located in a position that is readily accessible, protected from weather and not easily obscured. A suitable location could be in a cupboard containing the gas or electricity meter or the water supply stopcock.

6.9.4 Small stand-alone buildings

For stand-alone ancillary buildings of less than 50m2 floor area, an energy performance certificate need not be provided. A stand-alone building may be detached, or attached but thermally separated from a main building. Examples are, in the case of the former, a kiosk for a petrol filling station which is associated with a supermarket and for the latter, one or two offices and a toilet located in an otherwise unheated warehouse. For stand-alone buildings of a floor area of 50m2 or more that are heated or cooled which are ancillary or subsidiary to the main building, a certificate should be provided, in addition to the one for the main building.

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