What are Part L Regulations?
Building regulations are coded by subject, and run from part A to P. Part L refers to thermal efficiency standards and affects insulation and heat loss.
What are the upcoming changes to Part L Regulations in 2014?
Changes to Part L will apply in England from April 2014 and all new homes will need to achieve a 6% carbon improvement on 2010 regulations. Builders still have flexibility in meeting carbon dioxide targets but they will need to take into consideration the building fabric as a fabric energy efficiency ((TFEE)) target is introduced.
The new changes will be known as Part L2a and refer directly to the conservation of fuel and power for all new and rebuilt building
For non domestic dwellings, there is a minimum energy efficiency target (9% improvement compared to the 2010 standards ) for air conditioning and lighting replacements.
These new targets will aim to save 6.4 millions tonnes of carbon dioxide and cut £200 from the fuel bill of a typical home compared to pre-2010 build standards. Builders will need to produce documentation showing they have taken into account technical, environmental and economic viability in high efficiency alternative systems.
What this means is that more insulation and higher efficiency heating systems will be required. To be more cost effective, renewable and low carbon technologies will be considered.
A Home User Guide will also have to be provided under these new regulations for buyers/first occupants of new properties. There are no changes to the rules for existing homes. Owners of existing homes and buildings wishing to improve the energy efficiency of their properties will be able to use the Green Deal to fit energy saving measures at no upfront cost.
Whether the building industry will be ready to implement zero carbon standards in 2016, that's another question.
Please note that these regulations are not retrospective so do not apply to existing homes.
In Scotland, ministers are considering reducing emission rates by 21% for the new Section 6 regulations when it is updated next year.
In Wales, the Welsh Assembly confirmed an 8% reduction over current targets.