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News analysis Regulations
Part L ref it unveiled
New government plans to revamp
and improve Part L of the Building Shutterstock
Regulations have been widely
welcomed, but the unexpected
watering down of one key proposal
for improving existing buildings has
caused concern. Carina Bailey reports
Part L of the Building extension or a loft conversion
Regulations maps out the – known as ‘consequential
future of sustainable building. First improvements’.
introduced in 1985, the documents It had been expected that, under
have been rewritten a number of Part L 2010, all homes undergoing
times to incorporate new energy such improvements would have
efficiency targets. The new Part to comply with the new energy spokesman for the department now Lost opportunity
L 2010, published last month regulations. But it is now proposed says that ministers are concerned He adds: “It’s such a missed
by incoming housing minister that only homes above 1,000 sq m about “putting further costs on opportunity. One puts one’s head in
John Healey, aims to close the would have to comply. However, the householders when we are going one’s hands and despairs.”
loopholes that have hampered proposal that all new conservatories through a recession”. So what does David Strong, chief executive of
the government’s commitment to will have to comply with the this mean for the industry? consultancy Inbuilt, cites the change
driving energy efficiency in buildings regulations is still in the documents. “Strictly speaking, they have not to consequential improvements as
since the regulation’s previous Just a few months ago at the dropped the domestic requirement, “the single most important measure
rewrite in 2006. Part F, which covers CIBSE national conference, a but they have so watered it down it is that the government could introduce
ventilation, is also being revised Department of Communities and almost inconsequential,” says Hywel to improve the energy performance
because of the link with Part L. Local Government (DCLG) official, Davies, CIBSE’s technical director. over time in the existing building
But there is concern across the Paul DeCort, also suggested that “It is disappointing, because unless stock”. He adds: “We’ve already
industry that the government will the 1,000 sq m threshold for we upgrade the existing stock we will built 70 per cent of the existing
struggle to hit its 2020 carbon non-domestic buildings could be never achieve the carbon reductions buildings that will be standing in
reduction targets after it drastically dropped, telling delegates that that government says it wants us to 2050. That’s where the highest
limited a requirement that existing raising energy efficiency standards achieve. And we need to start doing priority lies. This measure would
homes be made more energy via building regulations was key that now, not in another three years.” have helped to deliver that.
efficient if they undergo substantial to meeting the targets – second Dan Jestico, a consultant at “If it’s not in there, then it’s
alteration through refurbishment, only to grant mechanisms. But a Hilson Moran, shares Davies’s view, another nail in the coffin in terms of
describing the outcome as a glaring failing to achieve the government’s
omission: “Given that 27 per cent carbon reduction target.
of the UK’s CO2 emissions come “They’ve put in place a very
In order for the government to meet its own target of reducing CO2 from homes, this represented a ambitious target and, unless they
emissions by 80 per cent in 2050 the building regulations will need to be real opportunity for CO2 savings. deliver massive carbon savings
constantly reviewed. Below is the planned timetable for review and change: Despite the expectation that this from existing buildings, we stand no
will be required by the Energy
2009: Part P – will be reviewed
Performance of Buildings Directive
Parts A&C; J&P; L&F; and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) – will all
(EPBD) from 2011, no mention is
be consulted on
made of it in these proposals.”
Part G – will be changed
The government
Andrew Warren, director of the
2010: Parts A&C; J&P; L&F – will be changed
Association for the Conservation
has put in place
In 2010 DCLG will confirm what will be reviewed for 2013; giving an
of Energy, describes the sudden
a very ambitious
indication of the 2016 changes
removal of the consequential
improvements section as target and unless
2011: Parts L&F and the CSH will be reviewed
they deliver massive
2012: Parts L&F and the CSH will be consulted on
“The implications are absolutely
horrendous. This was the only carbon savings from
2013: Parts L&F and the CSH will be changed
stick that was available in order to
existing buildings
2014: Parts L&F and the CSH will be reviewed
encourage anything to happen.
A very obvious time to get things we stand no chance
2015: Parts L&F and the CSH will be consulted on
to happen is when you’ve already
got people on the premises doing
of doing it now. –
2016: Parts L&F and the CSH will be changed
things.” David Strong
14 CIBSE Journal July 2009
CIBSEjul09 pp14-17 newsanalysis.indd 14 25/6/09 15:43:47
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