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If you’re involved in a construction or renovation project, you’ve probably come across references to Part L Building Regulations. These crucial standards are part of UK building regulations, ensure energy efficiency in residential and non-residential properties, and play a significant role in the government’s aim to reach net zero.
Part L Building Regulations, also known as the Conservation of Fuel and Power regulations, are set out by the UK government to control the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. These regulations aim to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change and are divided into two categories: Part L1 for dwellings and Part L2 for non-domestic buildings.
First published in 2014, Part L building regulations, like all regulations, continue to be adapted and updated.
In 2021 the regulations went through their most significant changes, which saw a tightening on the emissions allowed from new builds and looked to reduce the gap between the calculated energy efficiency during the planning phase of construction and the actual efficiency once completed.
The following are the most noticeable changes in the 2021 Part L guidelines compared to its 2014 predecessor. More stringent testing, higher energy efficiency rates or the building and U-values of the materials used. Below are just a few highlights that our customers need to be aware of-
Under the 2021 edition of Part L, all new homes must produce significantly fewer carbon emissions than previously allowed under older editions.
Previously under the old Part L regulations, ‘sample’ air permeability testing, also known as Airflow testing, was allowed on larger developments. This is no longer the case; every new build dwelling requires testing. This change can make a difference if not adequately planned for in advance and can add significant delays and costs to the completion of a project.
Not only has there been a change to how larger developments test their air tightness, but the regulations have become stricter. In England and Wales, new dwellings must have an air permeability under 8 m3/hr. m2 @50Pa a reduction from the previous 10 m3/hr. M @50Pa. This is expected to be even more stringent when The Future Homes Standard is introduced in 2025. AeroBarrier UK tests and treatment can achieve an amazing 0.6m3/hr @50Pa air permeability, ensuring you are going beyond the current and future regulation changes.
The new update requires all buildings to have photographic evidence showing that the correct procedures have been followed during construction. If no photographic evidence is provided, default values will be used for the work. This might not seem like a big deal, but the default values can significantly differ from what you would expect and may mean that the building needs to be signed off by building control without significant remedial work.
At AeroBarrier UK, we offer a simple solution that provides the proper airflow test now required by Part L and an instant and complete solution to any leaks within the building’s envelope and the relevant certifications. So you can help complete your construction work without the stress of missing deadlines and provide your customers the most energy-efficient home possible.
Part L Building Regulations aim to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in residential and non-residential buildings. They are critical to the UK’s efforts to combat climate change and reach net-zero emissions.
Non-compliance with Part L can result in fines and enforcement action, such as an order to make necessary changes to the building. It can also negatively impact the building’s value and its potential for sale or lease.
U-values measure the amount of heat that can pass through a material. They are used in Part L regulations to assess the energy efficiency of elements such as walls, floors, doors, and roofs. A lower U-value means better insulation and better energy efficiency.
Compliance is typically checked by local building control bodies, either local authorities or approved inspectors. They review plans before construction and inspect the building work at various stages. Additionally, new regulations as of June 2022 mandate that builders conduct an on-site audit to confirm that the design details in the plans have been constructed, and photographs must be taken as evidence
Certain types of buildings, like temporary buildings, workshops, and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand, are exempt.