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Trying to go from BER D1 to C1 in one bed apartment.

  • 19-10-2022 3:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 26 Shortbread

    I'd like to increase a BER rating from D1 to C1. It's a 2003 one bedroom ground floor apartment that I wish to rent out. I'm concerned that I might make expensive improvements to it and it might not make enough difference to improve the rating. I was thinking I'd replace bulbs with low energy ones, change double glazing for triple and wooden front door to composite. I could upgrade the boiler to one with with heating controls but I'm not sure if zoning is even possible in an apartment with a bedroom, bathroom and open plan kitchen living room? Upgrade water cylinder or lagging jacket. Attic insulation isn't possible with apartment above me. Would I need to dry line (with proof of insulation used) the walls I share with apartments on either side? Or just the two external walls at the front and back?

    Any advice appreciated, thanks.


  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    whats your main heating source?

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Shortbread

    It's a gas boiler and radiators.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75,085 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    Have you discussed it with your management company? Likely to be a lot of restrictions in what you can do, particularly with windows and doors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Shortbread

    Actually it seems to be a bit of a free for all as regards changes to windows and doors, unlike most complexes. A good proportion of houses and apartments there have already installed newer ones in varying designs. Obviously external insulation would most likely be a no though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,201 ✭✭✭ cruizer101

    Surprised to see an apartment with such a low BER, generally because they are surrounded by other apartments I would have thought heat loss should be low enough so BER should be better.

    Can you get your old BER cert it should have recommendations on it, pretty sure you can contact SEAI to get it.

    Bulbs to LED is a no brainer, lagging jacket would definitely improve it, zoning I can't imagine is worth it not really possible in such a small space, maybe trv's or better timing controls.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Shortbread

    I thought it was low too.

    I looked at the BER advisory report and Space & Water heating are listed as Poor, Renewables and Windows as Very Poor. It suggests improving 4 areas: external doors (1.4 W/m2), wall insulation (0.35 w/m2) and windows (1.4 W/m2) and installing an air/heat pump. The heat pump seems like a big outlay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭ DataDude

    The advisory reports are crap. Very standardised. You can get the SEAI to share the ‘data file’ with a new assessor. That assessor can then play around with it in excel and advise you the cheapest, most impactful changes.

    We got a huge improvement to our BER with very cheap random things you wouldn’t think of, nor would they ever appear on an advisory report.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,525 ✭✭✭ Alkers

    Heat pump won't make sense financially for a small space like that - you'll never recoup the outlay

  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Shortbread

    Yes, that's exactly what I'd like. For an assessor to tell me where exactly to spend my money to push up the rating. The one I used before was very wishy-washy, all 'maybes' and nothing definite.

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    ground floor apartment, probably double aspect means you have a floor and two walls where you are losing heat to the external. you may also have a unheated stairwell wall where your losing heat to as well. Apartments also have a high 'living area ratio', especially one bed apartments, so i can understand why a BER would be a D1

    i would suggest the following upgrades to best get you from D1 to C1, although obviously it impossible to tell you exact what changes these would make without access to your assessment.

    1. heating control. You can absolutely zone your apartment. You should have the living areas as one zone, the bedroom and circulation space as another, and the hot water cylinder as the third. This will require stats on all zones which control when teh boiler is called. You need to install a programmer that can set time and temperature for each of these zones. This upgrade alone could possible jump you from D1 to C1
    2. Hot water cylinder insulation. Id be very surprised that a HWC from 2003 isnt insulated, but if it isnt, a lagging jacket is a no brainer.
    3. put flow restrictors on showers
    4. light bulbs are also a no brainer, though this will make a small difference

    if these dont get it over the line, investigate getting a condensing gas boiler.

    i wouldn't be looking at high cost solutions like changing the windows and doors, or drylining, at this stage. Explore the easier and less disruptive solutions first

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,426 ✭✭✭✭ Ush1

    What sort of zoning is being suggested? A one bed apartment shouldn't have these micro zones really, just end up with the boiler cycling more often.

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    the suggested zoning is indicated in the post above you.

    to be in compliance with the building regulations, dwellings over 100 sq m require min 3 zones, living , sleeping and DHW

    under 100 sqm 2 zones will comply, ie space and DHW. separate time and temp control over each is required.


    to be considered to have 'full time and temperature zoned control' in an apartment (ie the best control) the DEAP methodology requires that you have a minimum of 2 space zones, and the DHW zone... so 3 zones, regardless of how small the apartment is.

    see here:

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,426 ✭✭✭✭ Ush1

    Two zones for 50m2 seems crazy to me, the heat demand typically in even the worst weather would be very low.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,201 ✭✭✭ cruizer101

    Two zones for small apartment does seem a bit crazy alright. Some smart trv's might be the easiest way to achieve it.

    OP you say you are trying to improve the BER and you rent the apartment, is there really any need to improve the BER in order to rent it, definitely worth doing some small upgrades like LED's, cylinder lagging jacket and easy stuff you can do yourself but otherwise not sure it is worth the expense.

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    agreed. The methodology is full of some loopy assumptions and requirements

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,525 ✭✭✭ Alkers

    Does the ber differentiate between zones from smart trvs and physical zones? I don't think it does

  • Subscribers Posts: 37,767 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat

    as stated above, once its time programmable it can be considered the same as a stat