On June 15 2022 the Building Regulations will be updated to improve energy efficiency in both residential and non residential buildings. These changes form part of the roadmap to the 2025 Future Homes Standard, with a primary goal to reduce carbon emissions and ultimately to reach net carbon zero emissions. While key goals for the changes to the regulations are to reduce carbon emissions, there are also changes that will improve ventilation, and prevent overheating in new builds.
Which regulations are changing?
The building regulations that are changing are:
Approved Document L – Conservation of Fuel and Power
Approved Document F – Ventilation
Approved Document O – Overheating
Approved Document S – Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles
Approved Documents F, L, O and S apply to new dwellings and new buildings other than dwellings. While Approved Documents F and L apply to existing dwellings.
What are the main changes?
Some of the new standards include a requirement of a 30% reduction in CO2 relative to the 2013 standards, and a 27% reduction for buildings other than dwellings. What does this actually mean?
There are some key changes that we must be aware of when we are designing and detailing our buildings. Here we will list some of the main changes to the updated building regulations below.
Reduction of carbon emissions in domestic new builds by 31% – the government has suggested the installation of electric central heating and renewable energy sources such as solar will help to achieve this target. Heat pumps are also being promoted as a key part of the Future Homes Standard.
Reduction of carbon emissions in non-domestic new builds by 27% – as with the domestic new builds, this will be achieved by installing low carbon heating systems.
New u-value standards – domestic new builds will have an updated u-value for some of the mail building elements.
- Walls = 0.18 W/m² K
- Windows and Doors = 1.4 W/m² K
- Floors = 0.13 W/m² K
- Roofs = 0.11 W/m² K
There are new u-values for domestic extensions and alterations. These are more complicated and we suggest referring to the full Approved Document Part L Table 4.2, 4.3 and C1 for the complete guidance.
Ventilation – the updated standards are for all new dwellings to be air tested. Dwellings can still use natural background ventilation by trickle vents, however, if a dwelling achieves an airtightness rating of less than 5m3/(h.m2) at 50pa a continuous mechanical system may also be required. Ventilation requirements are set out in Approved Document Part F Table 1.7.
Overheating – Part O is a new document looking at the increased possibility of overheating due to more airtight and efficient constructions. The overheating approved document applies to new dwellings where people sleep overnight, including new houses, flats, student accommodation, care homes and similar living accommodation. In order to achieve compliance there are two methods laid out in Part O, a simplified checklist method or CIBSE’s TM59 thermal modelling.
Electrical vehicle charging points – every new dwelling with associated parking will now require an EV charging point. There are also requirements for change of use, flats that undergo renovations along with non residential buildings.
When will the changes come into effect?
If a building notice, initial notice or full plans are submitted before June 15 2022 they will be considered under the previous standards and work can proceed as long at the work starts prior to June 15 2023.
For any notices or full plans submitted after June 15 2022 they must comply with the updated regulations.
Where can I view the updated documents?
Residential Book Completely Updated for the new regs
Understanding Architectural Details – Residential has been updated to incorporate the latest updates the to Building Regulations. This 4th Edition is available now.
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