New Building Regulations: What Are They and Is My Build Affected?
This year, changes have been made to the UK’s Building Regulations affecting those that wish to self-build, renovate, or add extensions to their homes.
In the face of an ever-increasing global demand for carbon neutrality, homeowners and renovators are being encouraged now more than ever to make eco-friendly decisions during building planning, design, and construction. In the hopes of improving the country’s carbon footprint at a faster rate, legal requirements have been extended to support this.
To get specific, alterations have been made to ‘Building Regulations Part L’, which covers both the conservation of fuel and power, and residential energy efficiency. Broken down into two parts, Approved Document part L1A is for the construction of new residential properties and Approved Document Part L1B is for extensions or improvements made to existing properties.
In this blog, we dissect the fundamental building regulations changes you need to know – equipping you with the updated knowledge you need to take on your residential construction project.
What You Need To Know About New Building Regulations
The new building regulations, brought into force in June 2022, contain current and future guidance regarding energy efficiency for all dwellings and commercial buildings.
Plans submitted before June 2022 with works commencing before June 2023 must comply with the 2013 version of part L, however, plans submitted from June 2022 with works starting from June 2023 will be held to the new standards.
The updated Part L includes alterations to requirements surrounding heat gains and losses, pressure testing, insulation regulations, boiler productivity, and lighting – all of which aim to contribute towards the government’s goal to bring all UK emissions to net zero by 2050, one building at a time.
Part L Building Regulations
New alterations made to part L of building regulations create a stepping stone towards the Government’s Future Home Standard and Future Buildings Standard – working to ensure new constructions produce 75-80% less CO2 emissions by 2025. The document is split into two: Volume 1 for dwellings and Volume 2 for Non-Dwellings. You can find the extensive documents at GOV.uk.
Key changes to Approved Document part L
- The new maximum permitted Primary Energy Rate demands increased efficiency from heating, hot water, and ventilation systems for all buildings.
- Uplifted insulation requirements have standardised thermal bridging to ensure the utmost efficiency. For example, insulation must be continuous and junctions between roofs, windows, doors etc must be covered to reduce unnecessary heat loss.
- Dwellings must produce 31% fewer carbon emissions and commercial properties (non-dwellings), such as shops and offices must have lower than 27% carbon emissions.
Alongside making improvements to the end result of your property, these new building regulations show additional focus on as-built construction to guarantee minimal differences between design and build.
Further changes have been made to U-Values, which calculate the thermal resistance of the layers in a building e.g. a roof, wall or floor. On the left is a visual guide to the new maximum U-Values.
Sustainable Choices For Your Home
In line with aims to reduce emissions, much of the government’s updated guidance favours renewable energy, particularly systems such as heat-pump boilers.
Including gas boilers in your plans will make it harder for your dwelling to pass the SAP (discussed further below). In fact, photovoltaic (PV) – solar panels – will more than likely be required for most dwellings using a gas boiler in order to offset emissions. Installing electric panel heaters will also prove to be detrimental to meeting building regulations – except where homes are well insulated and also have PV fitted on the roof.
Want to know more about the importance of building sustainably? Check out our blog here to find out how you can use eco-friendly building methods and practices.
Meeting Building Regulations 2022: SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) 10
SAP10 is the updated method officials use to calculate the efficiency rating of a property. The results are based on factors such as materials used, thermal performance, air permeability, renewable energy technologies, and efficiency and control of heating systems.
The biggest changes from the previous SAP 2012 include an uplift to insulation requirements and new U-Values. In addition, a rating (between 1 and 100+) for the annual energy costs of a new dwelling, along with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), must be obtained before any work commences.
Design Stage SAP
An SAP calculation should, in best practice, be undertaken at the early stages of the process in order to minimise the number of revisions to your plans. This ‘Design Stage Report’ involves calculating heat loss from floors and roofs alongside U-Values with the aim of determining whether or not design improvements are required. Your architect may be required to make alterations to your property’s composition or proposed materials in order to be fully compliant with BR Approved Document L. The information gathered from this process will provide you with your SAP rating and predicted EPC.
Once the property or renovations have been completed, the second round of SAP calculations, including photography and an air-leakage test, are completed. This is called an ‘As-Built Report’ and will produce the building’s final EPC.
Although an SAP is completed and signed off during design, a second report is needed to determine if any drastic changes have been made in the construction interim that could affect the building’s efficiency. If this is the case, further changes must be implemented to prevent the property from failing final approval.
These industry-specialised calculations aid in ensuring all self-builds, extensions and home improvements are compliant with requirement L1 of the BR, and ultimately don’t contribute masses of CO2 emissions.
How Can M Jarrald Help You Regarding New Building Regulations?
Get in touch with us today and find out how we can assist you in meeting the Government’s new building regulations for 2022 and beyond.