The updates to the Building Regulations have now all been published and, whilst some came into force last year, Part L took effect from 6th April 2014. So now is the time to understand what the changes will really mean to us.
The good news is that the changes are less extensive than those in 2010 but, as expected, improved energy performance standards and calculation methods have been set.
Although, if you commenced work before 6th April or worked to building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before 6 April, the 2010 regulations will still apply.
So what are the key changes?
New dwellings will need to achieve a further 6% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions relative to Part L 2010.
While new commercial developments need to achieve a further 9% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, aggregated across the non-domestic build mix relative to Part L 2010.
Dwellings – New Build
The steps to achieving compliance have been altered with the biggest impact affecting how fabric efficiency and emissions are calculated. The compliance steps are:
- The Target CO2 Emission Rate (TER) has been retained and a new Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) measure introduced.
- Minimum standards have been maintained, as was the case in part L 2010, to provide limits on design flexibility.
- The effect of internal heat gains not just from solar sources is now considered.
- The building performance must be consistent with the building design, demonstrated, for example, through the construction SAP/EPC and air tightness testing. This will undoubtedly be an area where future amendments to Building Regulations concentrate with the current focus on the design performance gap.
- Provisions for energy efficient operation of the building through O&M manuals and instructions.
The 2013 standard uses an ‘elemental recipe’ based upon a set fabric and services specification to calculate the target emission and fabric efficiency rate. The values used to calculate the targets have been significantly strengthened beyond the minimum standards set in order to drive the design of better performing dwellings.
The future commitment to zero carbon homes remains as 2016 with further consultations with regard to ‘allowable solutions’ in particular to take place.
Commercial – New Build Non-Domestic Buildings
Similar to dwellings the Target CO2 Emission Rate (TER) is retained and a new Target Fabric Energy Efficiency (TFEE) introduced. The TER calculations will be based upon updated notional building benchmarks and fabric standards to drive the design improvements and emission reductions.
The situation with achieving zero carbon non-domestic buildings by 2019 is still tenuous. ‘Allowable solutions’ are likely to play a key role in how this is formulated.
The reduction in emissions is based on an aggregate across the mix, and will have greater or lesser impact on different building types, for example:
- Distribution Warehouses – 4% reduction
- Retail Warehouse – 8% reduction
- Offices, Deep Plan – 12% reduction
- Hotel – 12% reduction
- Offices, Shallow Plan – 13% reduction
The Government believe that these improvements can be made through good fabric and services installation in most building types. We believe some will be very difficult to achieve due to the building type e.g. Warehouse with low energy usage, leaving increasing the amount of renewables on a site as the only answer.
The Big Question
What will be the cost to the builder to implement the carbon saving measures? Current Government estimates are as follows:
- Detached House +1.2% of construction costs
- Terraced House +0.1% of construction costs
- Apartment +0.1% of construction costs
As can be seen the Government do not believe that the costs will be great, though larger builders will benefit more as the economies of scale mean that their costs will be around 19% lower than for a small builder.
The overall impact to the economy though is expected to be a £50M per annum saving to businesses.
What Flatt Consulting can do for you
We can provide your Energy Strategy and Sustainability Policy for your new development.
Complying with legislation to improve the energy performance of buildings will reduce a buildings energy usage and carbon emissions, and make your development more marketable and profitable in the long term.
By taking action now you will ensure your business has a strong foothold in the greener property market of the future.
For further information please contact:
Mark Sales – firstname.lastname@example.org