Author : Jon Curtis
Crucial building regulations are in force now and will impact new and a few existing homes. It will also impact self-builders, extenders, and renovators. Some of the changes were announced in December 2021 with a 6.6m direct investment for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. A whopping 40 percent of the total energy used, is consumed for heating and powering buildings. The government wanted to bring that figure down drastically and mandated that from 15 June 2022, all new homes must produce 30 percent fewer CO2 emissions than they produced earlier. The Building Regulations also introduced new standards to reduce carbon emissions and energy use during home improvements. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DHLUC) wants the regulations to continue in 2023 and believes, that constant monitoring will help the UK to meet its net zero targets and ease the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025.
Which Building Regs. Will Be Affected?
Energy experts say that self-builders and renovators must follow the new regulations as it is a positive step towards improving the quality of our homes.
Regulations Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power)
Building Regulations Part L includes updated insulation requirements for new homes. A new Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculation called SAP10 will be used for its assessment. Self-builders must do on-site audits and provide photographic evidence, to confirm that the design details in their plans have been constructed. The new U-values aim to further discourage thermal bridging. In 2023, minimum new fabric efficiency standards will apply to existing homes. If you want to change or replace thermal elements such as new windows and doors, it will entail adhering to new U-values. New rules have also been framed regarding the volume of glazing used in extensions, lighting design improvements, and low-flow temperature requirements for heating systems. The maximum flow temperature in a central heating system is now 55C, against the previous standard of over 75C.
Regulation Part F (Ventilation)
The improvement to Building Regulations Part F makes it easier for self-builders and renovators to comprehend the effects of ventilation in a home. Renovators and extenders must remember that when energy efficiency work is done in existing homes, the ventilation must improve and comply with existing measures for controlled services and fittings. There are mandated checklists to make installations of mechanical ventilation products, quick and hassle-free in new and existing homes. The new recommendations, also entail replacing windows with trickle vents unless there is the option to use air bricks or whole-house Mechanical Ventilation, with Heat Recovery (MVHR). Care must be taken to ensure that the replacement window works do not worsen the existing ventilation system.
Regulation Part O (Overheating)
The Building Regulations Part O aims to limit excess solar gain and remove excess heat, in new and existing homes. There are two methods for complying with the regulation.
House cross-ventilation status and the maximum amount of glazing allowed in a single room, are the factors taken into account.
Regulation Part S (Electric Vehicle Charging)
Building Regulations Part S aims to futureproof homes and buildings by installing EV charging points. This is one regulation that can have a positive immediate impact on self-builders. There will be a £3,600 price cap per charge point, to ensure the EV chargers are not prohibitively expensive. The new rules are already in effect, but the government has provided a grace period until June 2023.
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