The Forthcoming Changes to Building Regulations Part L

The recent UK Budget has reinforced the government’s commitment to sticking with its target of achieving zero carbon homes by 2016 (Paragraph – 1.109). They also announced a response will be given to the energy efficiency requirements in buildings regulations ‘Part L’ by May 2013.

However, the government’s overall goal to achieve zero carbon may provide challenging as it has already missed its own target to provide a revised document Part L by April 2013, which, would have given the industry six months to prepare for the changes. This has caused confusion if to weather the announcement in May will also be enforced in October or if another consultation will be required after May.

Overall, for the government to achieve its target ministers need to decide swiftly.

Changes to Building Regulations Part L/Part F affecting Air PressureTesting

October 2010 witnessed important alterations to Building Regulations Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation)

  • Part L saw the target carbon dioxide emissions rate for new dwellings (TER) reduced by 25% meaning you may now require a low air tightness result to ensure dwellings pass building regulations
  • The changes to Part F introduced new ventilation provisions if dwellings receive an air tightness test result of less than 5 m3/(h.m2) @ 50PA

The air tightness testing process now requires a minimum of three units of each identical type to be tested or 50% whichever is less. Currently builders can use a single air test certificate on multiple dwellings without the need to test them all. However, it is becoming more difficult for builders to apply this rule as the introduction of a penalty on those properties not tested. For example, if you require an air tightness figure of 6, and wanted to use a single air test on multiple properties, you would need to achieve a figure of 4 as you incur the 2 point  penalty for the properties not tested. If you achieve an air test figure less than 5 there are specific requirements to satisfy building regulation Part F (Ventilation)

For more information on the above please contact Ashby Energy