Government to rethink Part L

Published:  11 January, 2011

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell has reaffirmed that Part L of the Building Regulations relating to the conservation of fuel and power is to be revised so as to deliver the necessary next steps toward zero-carbon buildings and considering how they may support wider retrofit policies.

The statement to Parliament followed a consultation with the construction industry about what in the Building Regulations and associated processes needed to be improved or extended, where regulatory burdens could be reduced and how levels of compliance could be increased.

In the report ‘Future changes to the Building Regulations — next steps’, Part L comes in with most comment, with 82 responses.

The main concern was that the guidance is too complex and that many people could not understand it. It was widely suggested that compliance suffered because people failed to understand what was required of them.

The complexity of the software used to calculate energy performance came under criticism, which required much input from third-party specialist providers.

Among solutions suggested was a return to showing compliance using the ‘deemed to satisfy’ method, adopting the German Passivhaus standard and simplifying the process by using checklists to verify compliance.

The report comments, ‘The department [CLG] will remain mindful of the points raised as we carry out the next Part L review — the aim of which will be to make and ensure implementation of further cost-effective changes to the energy efficiency of buildings.’



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