The Latest on Building Regulations
On Wednesday 15th December government published the most significant changes to the Building Regulations and the Approved Documents for England in several years. The majority of these Regulations will come into force in June 2022.
The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 set out significant changes to the regulations around ventilation, energy efficiency and overheating, electric vehicle charging and a number of supporting elements of the regulations.
Under the new Part L, new buildings correctly built to the new standards are expected to produce lower regulated carbon dioxide emissions compared to current standards, and buildings will also be assessed using primary energy metrics. Part L 2021 is due to come into effect in June 2022 and will act as an ‘uplift’ to help the construction industry adapt to changing regulations and low carbon heating.
The government refers to Part L 2021 interchangeably as the ‘interim Part L’ or the ‘2021 Part L uplift’, because it is a stepping stone to the introduction of the Future Homes and Future Buildings Standards in 2025. It is important to be clear that Part L 2021 is not the Future Homes Standard or the Future Buildings Standard.
There is a new requirement for an energy forecast for non-domestic buildings over 1000m2 and CIBSE TM54 is one of the methodologies that may be used for this.
New homes will have higher fabric energy efficiency standards, with a commitment to an even more stringent standard in 2025, when the Future Homes Standard is due to be introduced. All existing homes will be required to have trickle ventilators when windows are replaced.
The new edition of CIBSE TM23 is cited as the approved method for air leakage testing of buildings.
Part F requires certain non-domestic buildings to have means of monitoring indoor air quality, such as carbon dioxide monitors, to reduce risks of aerosol transmission of infections.
New Parts of the Building Regulations and associated Approved Documents have been introduced, covering Overheating (Part O) and Electric Vehicle Charging (Part S). The new Part on Overheating marks the successful culmination of years of work by CIBSE to see this major topic fully addressed in the Building Regulations.
Part O will for the first time require an explicit assessment of overheating risk in new residential buildings, including dwellings, flats and buildings where people sleep such as care homes or student halls of residence. This will use either a simple method or a simulation using CIBSE TM59.
Part S, Infrastructure for the charging of electric vehicles, will require all new residential buildings which have car parking spaces to have access to charging points, with a new Regulation setting out the requirements in detail.
The vehicle charging requirements are set out in detail in a new Building Regulation 44D which prescribes in some detail the level of the provisions required in new and refurbished buildings. This follows the government response to their 2019 consultation that was published in November 2021.
The full package also includes the Government response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation that closed earlier this year. The stated ambition of the Future Building Standard is to deliver higher standards of energy efficiency so that buildings that meet the standard will not need further work to their building fabric to enable them to become zero carbon in the future.