DesignBuilder SBEM and DSM has been approved by the relevant national governments for use in the regions of UK and Republic of Ireland shown in the summary table below. Please ensure you use the correct version according to the location of the building you are certifying.


Approved DSM Versions

RegionRegulations DB Version NCM Version 
England Part-L 2013 / EPCs 5.6b
Wales Part-L 2014 / EPCs
Scotland Section 6 2015 / EPCs


Approved SBEM Versions

RegionRegulations DB Version NCM Version
England Part-L 2013 / EPCs
Wales Part-L 2014 / EPCs 5.6b
Scotland Section 6 2015 / Section 63** / EPCs
England & Wales Part-L 2010 4.1e
Scotland 2010 Section 6 4.1e
Northern Ireland Pre-October 2012 Part-F* 3.5b
Northern Ireland Post-October 2012 Part-F / EPCs 4.1h
Republic of Ireland   Part-L 2017 / BER 5.5.h
Republic of Ireland        Part-L 2007* 3.5b

Please contact DesignBuilder Support for more information on which version to use for your projects.

*Customers in ROI and NI running v2.3.6.007 should contact DesignBuilder Support to obtain a licence for their approved version and a patch to install.

 ** When using DesignBuilder v6.1.0.006 for Scotland Section 63 calculations please make sure to install the Final Patch for SBEM 5.6a after installing DesignBuilder.

SBEM and DSM v5.6a and v4.1g Patches (Period 15-20 September 2020 only)

From Tuesday 15 September 2020 it will no longer be possible to use the current versions of SBEM v5.6a and v4.1g due to the expiry of a digital certificate used within the SBEM EPCgen utility. BRE have provided patches for these versions which you will need to install to continue to generate and lodge EPCs in the UK. Note that the requirement also applies to DSM which uses the same EPCgen utility to generate EPCs. You can download and install these patches from the Download areea of the website.

However, before you rush to install these patches please also note that SBEM v5.6a and v4.1g are due to expire altogether on 20 September whether you have installed the patch or not! New versions of SBEM v5.6b (for England and Wales) and v4.1h (for N  Ireland) will be needed from that date when the Landmark register currently used in England, Wales and N Ireland is retired and we switch over to a new register operated directly by MHCLG. SBEM v5.6b will also be adopted in Scotland though that date is yet to be confirmed.

So what to make of these changes? Take home points for all UK regions are:

  • If you need to generate EPCs using SBEM or DSM over the period 15-20 September then you must install the patch for SBEM 5.6a and/or 4.1g. We recommend you do this right away to avoid a loss of service from 15 September.
  • While Scotland is not affected by the certificate expiry, we have provided a separate patch for Scotland to help assessors carrying out a range of different types of assessment including Scottish EPCs, Section 63 and/or assessments for properties in other UK regions.
  • From 20 September you must install a new version of DesignBuilder to generate EPCs. The updated software will be made available on 20 September when the new register is due to come online.
  • If you don’t need to generate EPCs over the period 15-20 September then we recommend that you simply wait for news of the release of the updated DesignBuilder software on 20 September.
  • There should be no changes to the calculations and ratings generated in the new software.
  • If you need to generate EPCs in the weeks ahead, you are advised to get them produced and lodged before 20 September when the new register goes live. This will help you avoid any disruption that may be caused by the switchover.

Why are different versions of DesignBuilder required in different regions?

Building Regulations in the various regions are out of step with each other and so correspondingly different versions of SBEM are required. Note that only one version of DesignBuilder can be installed on a machine at any one time and while it is a quick and simple process to uninstall one version and install another, if you often work on projects not covered by the current release and find that you need to regularly uninstall and reinstall then you may wish to consider installing different versions of DesignBuilder on different machines to facilitate the process of moving from one region to another.

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