Major Changes to The Building Regulations
Significant changes to building regulations took place on 15th June, 2022. New Approved Documents L, F, O, and S detail the improvements needed to increase building energy efficiency and the systems that support it. These documents will represent the new requirements that must be met by new buildings, in order to promote advancements in carbon emissions reduction:
Part L – examines property energy efficiency.
Part F – improves ventilation.
Part O – ensures that buildings do not overheat.
Part S – a new Approved Document that details how a building might contain infrastructure for electric vehicles. Starting from June, all new residences must include charging stations for electric vehicles.
These changes apply to new build and existing homes, and non-domestic projects. Any project submitted to Building Control on or after June 15th 2022 will need to meet the new standards.
Overview of the changes being made
• Fabric standards mean increased insulation in walls, floors and roofs – with some new products replacing existing products.
• The changes rely heavily on renewable energy technology – solar PV must be used alongside a traditional gas heating system or a ground / air source system must be used.
• There is a 12 month grace period if notice has been submitted before 15th June however meaningful work must have commenced by 15th June 2023.
• A waste water heat recovery system must be used.
• Also taken into account – lighting in the house, the number of them and their lumens per Watt.
• Prove it – tradespeople now must take photos of their work at junction details and upload them for building control to sign off. Until now this has not been a requirement.
Overview of changes to parts L, F, O & S
Part L changes
The amount of insulation in both cavity walls, below ground level and between ceiling rafters has increased significantly:
• Insulation for Cavity Walls increases from 100mm to 150mm
• Between rafters and for flooring PIR insulation increases from 100mm to 150mm
• No change to horizontal ceiling (400mm).
• Sloping ceiling – room in roof 150mm between rafters and 50mm underneath.
Additional changes include:
• Windows u value = 1.2 w / m ² K (1.2 watts of energy per m2 for every degree in difference between inside and outside temp). Can be done as double glazing.
• Solar PV. For houses the Kw per PV is 40% of the ground floor area / 6.5.
For example, for a floor area of 100m², the amount of PV would be 6.15kWp ((100*0.4) / 6.5).
• Heating system
You can use a gas / electric boiler, however you will still need to use PV .
If you use air / ground source heat pumps, there is no requirement for PV.
• Waste water heat recovery
Showers, including over baths, should be connected to the waste water heat recovery system.
Full lighting design needs to be provided. You will need to account for how efficient the lights are by measuring the amount of light produced (per Watt of energy).
Part F changes
This deals with building ventilation, air quality and preventing condensation in domestic or non-domestic buildings. Heat recovery units may be required along with more efficient extractor fans.
Part O changes
To complement the increased efficiency achieved through Part L and F improvements, Part O of Building Regulations have been added to prevent overheating in buildings. This may mean the inclusion of additional shading for Patio Doors & windows.
Part S changes
Part S deals with the need to have Electric Vehicle charging points installed.
Key changes for extensions (single, double & loft)
• Where a heating system is being extended or replaced, it must meet the requirement of 92% ErP efficiency. This also comes into place for replacement of systems within existing buildings.
• For any replacement or renovation of a bathroom and kitchen (including replacing kitchens and bathrooms), ventilation must be checked and/or provided or replaced in line with Building Regulations Part F.
• 100mm floor insulation (previously 75mm).
• 300mm horizontal ceiling insulation (previously 270mm).
• Sloping ceiling –150mm between rafters and 30mm underneath.
• Windows U Value = 1.4w/m²k (Previously 1.6).
• Doors U value = 1.4w/m²k (Previously 1.8).
Key changes for renovations
Changes have been made to specifications where renovations are taking place.
These come into force when:
• More than 50% of the surface of an individual element is being replaced (i.e. wall, floor roof).
• Provision of a new layer through dry lining of the internal surface.
• Replacement of an existing layer through stripping down of an element to expose structural components (i.e. brick/block).
• Replacing the waterproof membrane on a flat roof.
• Provision of cavity wall insulation.
Progressive change in building performance
Stepping stone regulation
The changes will improve building performance and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, especially from heating, hot water and electricity. The regulations require a 30% reduction in carbon emissions in new dwellings and a 27% reduction in other building types (existing / non-domestic). It is a stepping stone to new regulations, the Future Home Standard, due to come into force in 2025. The ultimate goal is net zero buildings by 2050.
If a Part L 2013 notice has been submitted by June 2022, the transitional arrangements means customers will have until June 2023 to begin work. This is applied on a dwelling by dwelling basis rather than a whole site. Any dwellings where work has not started by June 2023 would then need to be constructed to the Part L 2021 regulations.
For larger sites, historically developers might have thought to get around this by doing the minimum amount of work (foundations stage) to one plot and that covers the whole site. Now with the new changes, that is not possible as it is dwelling by dwelling.
Steve Waller – August 2022