In a bid to reach net-zero for carbon emissions by 2050, our UK government has announced numerous changes to existing Building Regulations. The main aims are to reduce the number of CO2 emissions produced by buildings and uplifts to heating, fabric and ventilations standards.
The Department for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH) is the sector of the government responsible for these changes who confirmed interim uplifts to Parts L and F and the announcement of the introduction of Part O.
How will these changes affect installers? And what will the impact be? We have investigated and found the answers for our industry. Let’s unload all the announced amendments and understand precisely what we installers need to do to be compliant.
The government has introduced a range of changes to Building Regulations, all to be enforced in June 2022, permitting a one-year transition phase allowing for planning applications that have been underway during this time.
There are uplifts to parts L, F, and the introduction of Part O and five new amended documents published:
Part L relates to ‘Target Fabric Energy Efficiency’, meaning new homes and home improvements focus on their energy rating and performance. Uplifts to non-domestic dwellings need to achieve an average of a 27% reduction in CO2 as domestic buildings must achieve stated U-values and energy rating bands to be compliant.
The new changes are basically introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for new and replacement windows and doors.
|Previous Energy Rating||New Energy Rating Requirements|
The only exception to the new rules is fire doors which are allowed to remain at 1.8W/m2k.
Part F concerns ‘ventilation’; installers must not make a property’s ventilation worse. Trickle vents are commonly required to comply or by installing proper ventilation systems. Trickle vents prove to be the most accessible option for installers and the most cost-effective way to remain compliant for domestic projects.
Mechanical ventilation is recommended for commercial spaces, such as offices, and need a minimum air supply rate of 0.51/s.m2. Amended guidance states recirculating systems should be capable of preventing recirculation of air between rooms, spaces, or zones within an office unless a suitable filtering or cleaning system is in use. There is an expectation that more evidence will be required for ventilation performance in response to covid-19.
Part O speaks of the concerns to ‘overheating’. It affects residential buildings, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes intending to reduce overheating, and these changes adopt methods of overheating strategies that are safe and usable by occupants.
Minimising solar gain is a strategy used to reduce overheating by limiting the amount of glazing in a room and ensuring the capacity for shading or other means of UV ray absorption.
This could cause a popularity rise in replacement conservatory roofs and orangeries that typically use less glazing. However, conservatories can achieve A+ energy ratings with modern advances when working with a reputable supplier.
Safety and usability are a government concern. If windows have poor functionality, the end-user will likely open windows, increasing the risk of overheating. Windows must be safer, securer, and easier to use. Quality home improvement products remove this concern, and all our window options combine high-performance, functionality and style to remove any worry for installers.
As installers, these new regulations may seem daunting, and the new regulation of Part O has received a cool response.
The new Building Regulations show real progress to decarbonisation, and the new regulation of Part O brings excellent development. Still, we expect more changes will come to increase the rate of CO2 reduction in our sector. A complete document is scheduled for 2025 – the Future Home and Buildings Standards.
The introduction of meaningful metrics means we are one step closer to net zero. Regulation will continue to tighten, and although these changes may seem challenging, it is a critical step towards a carbon-neutral living benefiting our environment and upcoming generations.
TDK Frames are professional trade providers of windows, doors, and commercial projects. We work with industry-leading products supplying Poole, Dorset, Wiltshire, and surrounding areas in the South West of England.