Part L changes, publication and implementation in 2021-22

At Building Regs 4 Plans, we’re preparing for the latest changes to the new Part L, set to apply from June next year (2022). The Government published the Future Buildings Standards consultation document in January. Contained within this document were the interim Part L, Part F and Overheating Regulations for domestic and non-domestic buildings, and the first steps towards the aim to deliver Zero Carbon Ready homes by 2025.

From June 2022, all new homes will be expected to produce 31% less CO2 emissions than is acceptable in the current Part L.

The new proposals include such upgrades as:

  • Waste water heating recovery to ALL showers
  • Heating systems flow temperature to be NO more than 55° C
  • Photovoltaics – proportional to the ground floor area (e.g. 50m² GFA will require 3kW peak solar panels equal to approx. 18m² [assumed to SE/SW orientation])
  • Thermal elements U Values of:
  •              Walls 0.18
  •              Windows 1.2
  •              Floor 0.13
  •              Roof 0.11

The proposals will also encourage the installation of ground source heat pumps which will allow solar panels to be removed from the design and enable greater flexibility in the specified U-Values of the individual thermal elements.

The new Part L is due to be published in December 2021 with an implementation date of June 2022. Developers must submit their Building Notices, Initial Notices or deposit their Full Plans application by June 2022 or comply with the new regulations set out in Approved Document L 2021.

Continuing to register with our site will mean you will always be up-to-date with latest the changes and can easily succeed in achieving building regulations approval. Our unique and easy to use system allows you to draft and submit compliant specifications with the corresponding detail drawings, leading to a finished project in line with the latest Government legislation.

The Future Homes Standard

The government has provided its response to the consultation for the proposed changes to Parts L and F of the Building Regulations. A timeframe has now been set out to implement the Future Homes Standard, leading the way to making new homes ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025.

The Government has proposed that, from 2021, there will be an ‘interim uplift’ in Part L standards. This will compel all new domestic developments to produce 31 per cent lower carbon emissions than is acceptable at present. Further legislation will require 75-80 per cent less carbon emissions within four years.

By 2025, all new homes should be constructed so that ‘no further energy efficiency retrofit work will be necessary to enable them to become zero-carbon as the electricity grid continues to decarbonise’. Fossil fuel heating, such as a natural gas boilers, will also not be permissible in new homes and all new domestic housing will be subject to an overheating mitigation requirement.

Work to existing houses will also be covered by the new regulations and more energy-efficient builds will be expected. For example, thermal elements, such as floors and walls, will expected to achieve a better U-value performance than is currently acceptable and replacement windows, doors and building services will be required to be more energy-efficient.

Transitional arrangements will last for one year and apply to individual homes, rather than an entire developments.

Inspection Service Plans

On 6 April 2013 the way in which Building Control worked with builders and home owners changed.

Instead of carrying out site inspections at fixed stages, the Local Authority were given the option of providing the builder/applicant with an Inspection Service Plan before commencement of works.

This plan will identify the stages of work where Building Control perform their inspections. The number and type of inspections will depend on the scope and complexity of the works, the construction methods used and the ground conditions, as well as the builder’s experience and competence.

This, in turn, is likely to be reflected in the fee that Building Control charges.

(‘…likely to…’, because these changes are yet to be implemented by some authorities.)

These inspections are expected to include the following stages:

  • When you start work
  • Foundation excavations – to assess ground conditions, required depths, the thickness of your concrete.
  • Damp proof course/Damp proof membrane – this includes any brickwork below ground level, floor insulation and preparation for your ground floor.
  • Drains – before drains are covered over.
  • External wall – to ensure proper construction and placing of insulation.
  • Completed roof structure, before removal of scaffolding and placing of insulation.
  • Before plastering
  • At completion.

Previously, for domestic work, Building Control would need to have been notified two days before commencement of the work and not more than five days after work had been completed, but now you must also notify building control at each stage outlined in your Inspection Service Plan in order for them to carry out site visits at those particular stages.

It is important to be aware that if the builder or owner fails to notify Building Control of the stages set out in the plan, they may not be issued a completion certificate.

The idea behind the changes is that service plans will provide flexibility to the site inspection process and allow Building Control to risk-assess builders in order to ascertain whether fewer visit could be carried out on particular jobs.

In theory this should lead to reduction in fees on jobs where Building Control play a smaller role and could potentially entice developers back from Approved Inspectors.

On the other hand more visits may be required for more complex jobs or where the builder is deemed less experienced (or even less trustworthy). Building Control are now able to charge more for these projects, hopefully leading to increased compliance of the building regulations overall.