Part L – Conservation of Fuel and Power in Buildings

The current format of the Buildings Regulations relating to energy in buildings, (Part L) came into force in April 2006 and is due for further amendment and tightening, to be in force by April 2010. The change in 2006 and future projected changes in 2010, 2013 and 2016, aim to significantly reduce the carbon emissions associated with energy use in buildings and will potentially, radically, alter design, construction and specification in all new buildings. By 2016, all domestic new build should be ‘carbon neutral’!

A significant change in 2006 was the manner in which compliance was assessed, with all new buildings, both domestic and non-domestic having to better a target rate for their annual carbon dioxide emissions. The new targets represent a 20% improvement (and up to a 27% improvement for non-domestic buildings) on the standards set out in the Approved Documents released in 2002. This new single method of compliance replaced the multiple compliance routes previously available, but allows some flexibility to the designer in choosing to improve combinations of the building fabric, plant efficiency and consideration of renewable energy technologies.

The amendment of the Building Regulations in 2006 created four new Approved Documents which detail the required standards for dwellings, new and existing, and all other new and existing buildings (designated Parts L1A, L1B, L2A & L2B respectively). This in turn led to the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for domestic buildings being upgraded to SAP 2005, incorporating lighting, renewable and energy saving technology as well as considering the effects of thermal bridging.

For non-domestic buildings, compliance can now be demonstrated using theSimplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) calculation tool or through active simulation using approved Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) software. The latter is often the preferred option for designers as this also provides accurate feedback on environmental conditions, plant loading and operating costs.

One of the outputs required for Building Regulations compliance for new builds, as outlined above, in both the domestic and commercial sectors, is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). In the domestic sector, this will often require air pressure testing to have been undertaken on a selection of the properties on a site and is also a requirement for non domestic buildings.

The current Part L Building Regulations documentation can be viewed via our links section.

Please also see the following pages to see how we can help you assess your project.

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