Introduction of proposed changes to Building Regulations
(Parts L and F – Energy Efficiency and Ventilation)
We’re slightly late posting this news, simply because we’ve been too busy to write blog posts, but the English Government has finally published a definite time line for introduction of revised Building Regulations moving toward the Future Homes Standard, which aims to make new homes ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.
The first step is an ‘interim uplift’ to Part L of the Building Regulations, requiring a 31% reduction in carbon emissions, compared to current Regulations. The timeframe for introduction of these changes has now been confirmed:
- Consultation drafts of the revised approved documents have been published and final versions will be published in December of this year.
- The new Approved Documents will come into force in June 2022.
- Transitional arrangements will be tougher than usual, applying to individual homes (not whole developments) and being limited to 1 year.
This means that any new building registered under current Regulations will need to commence construction before June 2022 and will need to be completed by June 2023, otherwise it will need to be upgraded to meet the new standards.
The definition of ‘building’ means that this will apply to a detached house, semis or a row of terrace houses, or blocks of flats.
As many will already be aware, the upgrade in the Regulations will be accompanied by a shift in the way carbon emissions are calculated, such that it will favour the use of electricity for heating much more strongly than the previous methodology – the justification for this being that much more of our electricity is now being generated by sustainable sources than it was when the old version of the SAP calculation methodology was written. This will mark the beginning of the end for fossil fuel boilers, and the ascendancy of heat pumps as the ‘normal’ method of heating our nation’s homes.
It was originally anticipated that the Fabric Energy Efficiency element of the requirements was set to be deleted – meaning, in essence, that it wouldn’t have much mattered how much energy your building used, provided that energy was generated by low or zero-carbon sources. It now looks like this is NOT going to be the case, however. The Fabric Energy Efficiency requirement is likely not only to be saved, but looks set to be made 15% tougher than at present – though final confirmation of this will need to wait for the publication of the new Approved Documents in December.
Look out for further detail and commentary on the forthcoming changes in our blog over this summer.
Consultation drafts of the Approved Documents can be found here:
And the overall Government response to the Future Homes Standard consultation is available to read here: