2-May-2017 --- version 6.3.4

Elmhurst is pleased to announce an update to the Plan Assessor and Data Connect applications. 

Plan Assessor 6.3.4 is now available to download. This release focuses mainly on bug fixes including;

EPC lodgement with no cost data shown is now prevented

Scottish EPCs cannot now be lodged with ‘Manufacturers declared’ option in Space Heating System 1 & 2

Save As of a new record will prompt assessor to save original data first

Data not saving when keyboard shortcuts used

Keyboard shortcut for exit CTRL+X conflicting with Cut action. CTRL+X now is used to Cut

BRE Approval for hot water only heat pumps

Various references to NES removed

Plan Assessor version 6.3 is compatible with existing version 6 databases and XML files.  Approved for SAP 2012 and building regulations calculations and lodgements in England, Wales and Scotland.

Existing version 6 licence keys can be used after installing on the registration screen in order to use the software.  We recommend all users to use the latest version of the software. Version 6.3.4 can be used alongside other versions.

Download Data Connect version 1 here

This release addresses the following issues;

              Solar PV kWp now allows data entry to 3 decimal places

An issue with launching the app when the auto filter is on in Plan Assessor

An issue with resetting the layout causing the Status column to move

Should you encounter any problems with Plan Assessor or Data Connect please contact OCDEA Support on 01455 883 236.


Product Database does not update in Plan Assessor 5

31-Aug-2016 --- version 5.5

The PCDF update does not download and update in Plan Assessor 5 as there is a difference in the expected data format.

We have resolved this issue for Plan Assessor 6 with the release of Plan Assessor 6.2.3.  In the interim, please continue to manually update the PCDF file in Plan Assessor 5 by downloading the file below.

JULY 2017 Plan Assessor 5 Product Database (fixed)

MARCH 2017 Plan Assessor 5 Product Database (fixed)

Right click on the link and select "Save link as..." or similar. Pick a destination such as Documents or Desktop and save the file.

In Plan Assessor, on the Product Database Update screen, select "Update" and find the file you have just saved.

Plan Assessor 6.2.3 has been released

21-Jul-2016 --- version 6.2.3

Plan Assessor 6.2.3 addresses an issue which prevented the PCDF from updating correctly.

Please update to this version as soon as possible to minimise the disruption and inconvenience of manually updating the PCDF in line with conventions.

July PCDF not updating

01-Jul-2016 --- version ALL

The PCDF update for July, released 01/07/2016, will not download and update in Plan Assessor.

This affects both Plan Assessor 5 and 6.

This revision of the PCDF includes a fuel price change and therefore it is important that the most recent PCDF is used when lodging EPCs as per the SAP Conventions.

We have manually fixed the issue with the PCDF and you can download it using the links below.

Right click on the appropriate link below and select "Save link as..." or similar. Pick a destination such as Documents or Desktop and save the file.

In Plan Assessor, on the Product Database Update screen, select "Update" and find the file you have just saved.

For Plan Assessor 6 use PCDF2012

For Plan Assessor 5 use PCDF2009

We are working on resolving this issue and will keep you updated.

Plan Assessor 6.2.2 with Data Connect available now

30-Jun-2016 --- version 6.2.2

NHER Plan Assessor 6.2.2 is now available to download.

This release focuses mainly on improvements to help you be more efficient in carrying out your assessments.

These include a powerful new tool called Data Connect that enables you to directly edit data in your databases. To help you get up to speed quickly and ensure that you know how to get the best from Data Connect we are providing both an online self assessment pack and a face to face training day. We highly recommend that you complete the self assessment before using Data Connect.

Other features in this release include:

New Keyboard shortcuts to help make data entry and editing faster

Relaxed validation on water cylinder when changing main heating system

Multiple Compliance Report now includes DFEE and TFEE

Additional results data available via Data Connect e.g. for London Plan calculations

Home Quality Mark SAP xml export for importing to HQM software

Various bug fixes

View the full release notes, providing essential information.

Update on PA 6.2.2

24-Jun-2016 --- version 6.2.2

You are probably anticipating the next release almost as much as we are. So let me explain why were running slightly later than we expected....

With something as new and complex as the Data Connect feature we want it to be as easy to use and straightforward as possible. Therefore, we have invested much of our recent development time into making sure that it looks and feels as great as it should. We’ve been checking error messages so that they are informative and understandable. Making sure the registration process is as seamless as possible. Creating icons and refreshing the UI to make it consistent, and easy to use.

Basically, all the things you expect from an NES piece of software.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, watch our 3 minute intro about Data Connect.

As you probably know, Plan Assessor will also include HQM (Home Quality Mark) SAP XML output. So if you want to learn a little more about the HQM, we have created an online CPD on the HQM so you can see the potential of this new offering.

Look out for further updates in the next week.

SAP Conventions v6.1

19-May-2016 --- version SAP

The latest version of the SAP Conventions has been agreed and approved by the SAP Conventions Group.

The new SAP 2012 Conventions v6.1 can be downloaded here. These conventions must be implemented by 1st July 2016. For all lodgements after that date all audits will be carried out against SAP Conventions v6.1.

There are only three differences from Conventions v6.0:

Appendix 1, Figure A1.2 (3) on page 29 - the junction type to be used for unheated stairwells has now reverted to junction E6 or E7 as per v5.0 of the conventions; this is in response to concerns raised at the conventions group that this change was leading to developers having to make unreasonably large changes to the design of dwellings at a late stage. Changes to this junction will therefore be held back until the next SAP revision.

Appendix 2, 2.4 on page 31 - clarification of evidence requirements for air pressure tests.

Convention 1.02 on page 2 - clarification of separate requirements for England and Wales for as built air permeability.

Support for previous Windows versions

09-May-2016 --- version 6.2.2

Microsoft stopped extended support of Windows XP in 2014. We have previously made users aware that Plan Assessor will also not be supported on Windows XP.

Plan Assessor 6.2.2 makes use of technology that is no longer compatible with Windows XP. Therefore, Plan Assessor 6.2.2 and the Data Connect feature will not work on Windows XP.

This means than Plan Assessor 6.2.2 will only work on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. To ensure that the latest Plan Assessor always works it is best to switch to Windows 10 at your earliest convenience. Previous Plan Assessor versions will not be affected.

It is also important to note that Microsoft will end extended support for Windows Vista in 2017. Our current development strategy would mean that “Plan Assessor 7” (software to coincide with any potential future SAP release) will not work on Windows Vista.

Plan Assessor 6.2.2 due shortly

21-Apr-2016 --- version 6.2.2

The next release of Plan Assessor, v 6.2.2, is scheduled for May 2016. The main feature of this release is a new feature called ‘Data Connect’. This enables you to quickly update data items in groups of dwellings. For example - URNs, Descriptions, air permeability, kWp, community heating efficiency, window U & g values, add a PV system.

Other items in the 6.2.2 release include:

Various other improvements to help you work faster e.g. keyboard shortcuts, retain cylinder information when changing boiler model

DFEE/TFEE included in the multiple compliance report

Home Quality Mark export file for import to BRE HQM software

Bug fixes including Heat Pump water efficiency

Scotland EPC lodgement using Plan Assessor 6.2

18-Mar-2016 --- version 6.2

From 20th March 2016 all Scottish new build EPCs must be lodged using Plan Assessor 6.2 using SAP 2012. This means you will no longer be able to issue EPCs using Plan Assessor 5.

You can transfer your Plan Assessor 5.4.2 & 5.5.6 records into Plan Assessor 6.2 lodge the EPC via XML export/import. Any records that need to be lodged from older versions such as 4.5, will need to be imported into version 5.4.2/5.5.6 before transferring into Plan Assessor 6.2

You can also use the database import feature available on the Plan Assessor Select Database screen to transfer Plan Assessor 5.5.x SQL databases into Plan Assessor 6.2

If you do attempt to make a lodgement from Plan Assessor 5 after this date you will receive an error message and you may be charged.

Where appropriate ensure that the Warrant Date is set to “Post 2013” so that the EPC is lodged to the new EST Register.

SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Window 10

04-Mar-2016 --- version SQL

Microsoft has ended support for SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows 10 computers. We are reviewing our development plans in order to ensure

that Plan Assessor remains fully functional under Windows 10 and will be releasing further information later this year.

If you do have problems, please contact our support team if you cannot install SQL Server 2008 R2 and we will endeavour to resolve the issue.

Water efficiency of MCS installed SAP default heat pumps

04-Mar-2016 --- version 6

It has come to our attention that the water heating efficiency for some SAP default heat pumps is incorrect.

When the heat pump is MCS installed, the default efficiencies have a factor applied to improve them.

The issue is that the water heating efficiency for heat pumps with a low flow temperature is being multiplied by the incorrect factor. Plan Assessor is applying the space heating MCS factor to both space and water heating efficiencies. It should apply a separate, lower, water heating MCS factor to the water heating efficiency. This results in the SAP default heat pumps having a water heating efficiency greater than they should. This affects SAP default heat pumps where the flow temperature is <=35°C (211, 213, 214). This issue does not affect heat pumps from the Product Database or SAP default heat pumps with a flow temperature >35°C.

This only affects these SAP default heat pumps when MCS installed is yes. There is no workaround for the issue.

We will be fixing the issue in a future release of Plan Assessor.

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