What changes have been implemented and how will they impact you?
On 15 June 2022, significant revisions to building regulations have been put in place. The primary objective of these changes is to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings, contributing to the nation's pursuit of Net Zero targets by 2050. Essentially, the government aims to reduce carbon emissions, with construction being a major contributor requiring its participation. While more changes are anticipated in 2025 to further improve energy efficiency, the current measures serve as temporary solutions until then.
What are building regulations and why are they being updated?
Building regulations encompass the mandatory requirements for the design and construction of buildings. If you are involved in constructing a new structure or making substantial modifications to an existing one, compliance with building regulations is essential.
The reason behind the updates lies in creating stop-gap measures to enhance energy efficiency in housing regulations before the introduction of the Future Homes and Buildings Standards in 2025. These upcoming standards will demand even more significant reductions in carbon emissions. The purpose of the current measures is to make the transition in 2025 smoother for builders and simultaneously reduce carbon emissions during the interim.
What specific changes have been made?
The changes introduced in England, effective June 2022, pertain to new homes, extensions, existing buildings, and non-domestic buildings. The measures now mandate a 30% reduction in carbon emissions for new homes and a 27% reduction for the other mentioned types of construction. Complying with these new measures becomes a responsibility, and it is crucial to understand how they may impact your ongoing projects.
Which aspects of the building regulations are affected?
The changes aimed at improving energy efficiency and supporting systems are reflected in the new Approved Documents L, F, and O. These documents outline the updated requirements that buildings must adhere to, fostering lower carbon emissions. Specifically, part L focuses on the energy efficiency of properties, part F aims to enhance ventilation, and part O ensures buildings do not overheat.
Furthermore, the introduction of the new Approved Document S mandates the inclusion of infrastructure for electric vehicles in buildings. As of June, all new homes must have charging points for electric vehicles.
For guidance on meeting the building regulations, you can find detailed information in the Approved Documents section on the GOV.UK website