Changes to Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations

This consultation sets out the Government plans for the Future Homes Standard to be introduced by 2025. It is the first stage of a two-part consultation about proposed changes to the Building Regulations.

Objectives of the consultation

The UK has set in law a target to bring all its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. As part of the journey to 2050 the Government have committed to introducing the Future Homes Standard in 2025. This consultation sets out what the Government think a home built to the Future Homes Standard will be like. They expect that an average home will have 75- 80% less carbon emissions than one built to current energy efficiency requirements.

The Government propose introducing an uplift to energy efficiency standards and requirements in 2020 as a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard. The consultation sets out the following two options:

Option 1: 20% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current standard for an average home, which could be delivered by very high fabric standards (typically with triple glazing and minimal heat loss from walls, ceilings and roofs).Option 2: 31% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the current standard, which could be delivered by the installation of carbon-saving technology such as photovoltaic panels and better fabric standards, though not as high as in option 1 (typically double not triple glazing).

Option 2: is the Governments preferred option. It would deliver more carbon savings and result in lower bills for the householder but has higher build costs. The Government expect that this would help to prepare supply chains for heat pumps and increase the number of trained installers.

The consultation includes proposals for revising the Approved Documents for Part L and F to make them easier to navigate and to support efforts to simplify Approved Documents more generally. This includes incorporation of the technical requirements of the Compliance Guides for Parts L and F into the Approved Documents.

The consultation also sets out proposal for changes to transitional arrangements to encourage quicker implementation of the new energy efficiency requirements. If builders start work on some homes in a development later, they will need to build to the latest standard rather than continuing to build to the older standard over a long period. This will make it fairer to small businesses, which often work on small developments and can be affected by changes sooner.

The consultation also proposes to remove the ability of local planning authorities to set higher energy efficiency standards than those in the Building Regulations to create certainty and increase consistency.

This initial consultation relates to new domestic buildings and there will be a further consultation in the coming months addressing existing domestic buildings, and new and existing non-domestic buildings.

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