Everything You Need To Know
In keeping with the Future Buildings Standard, the government has recently implemented some changes to ventilation requirements for new and existing homes and buildings. Designed to cut carbon in homes, shops, and other buildings, these new rules will come into force on the 15th June 2022. At Adam Window Centres, our goal has always been to make homes more energy efficient, and that includes staying abreast of all new regulations. Here, we offer some information to help you better understand the upcoming changes to Part F building regulations.
What’s Going To Change?
The new regulations have been published in five new approved documents. There are two volumes of Approved Document L, which covers new buildings, one for dwellings and the other for buildings other than dwellings. Similarly, there are two volumes of Approved Document F, which covers existing buildings. Approved Document O is an entirely new document, covering overheating. The goal of these documents is to work toward the Future Homes Standard, which will take effect in 2025, while allowing the industry time to develop the necessary supply chains and skills for execution of the new standard. Let’s talk through these document changes in detail.
The brand new approved document O is aiming to prevent new homes and buildings from overheating. A reasonable provision must be made in a dwelling or residential buildings to limit unwanted solar gains in the summer and provide adequate means to remove the heat from the indoor environment. New heating systems will be limited to a maximum flow of 55°C. With single-glazed windows homes can experience higher temperatures, one of the recommendations would be to get a higher quality window installation.
New Homes Will Produce 30% Less Carbon Emissions
Approved Document L Volume 1 means that all newly built homes must reduce the amount of CO2 by installing low carbon technology such as heat pumps or solar panels. uPVC Windows and Doors are a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint, retain cold air in the summer and retain heat in the winter and cold air in the summer.
New Buildings Carbon Emissions Must Be Reduced by 27%
Opting for energy efficient heating systems in buildings such as shops and offices will now be the way forward in ensuring reduced CO2 standards will be met.
There are new standards on proper installation of ventilation systems and minimising the ingress of external pollutants, which will allow designers to evaluate ventilation strategies in terms of individual volatile organic compounds, as opposed to using a total VOC limit. It’s also recommended that replacement windows in non-domestic buildings be fitted with background trickle vents. To reduce the risk of infection via aerosols, a new requirement calls for the installation of CO2 monitors in rooms at high risk of airborne infection. The government proposal calls for ventilated common spaces with a minimum air supply rate of 1l/ s.m2, which is higher than the .5l/ s.m2 that is now recommended. In anticipation of additional evidence on the impact of ventilation rates because of Covid-19, government proposals for increased required ventilation capacity in offices have not yet been implemented.
Turning to the standards for existing domestic buildings, the new regulation requires that the existing ventilation system not be made worse when energy efficiency work is done in the building. For the benefit of renovators, to simplify the question of whether the ventilation provision will be sufficient, in light of historic and potential future work, a checklist is mandated. The ventilation guidelines recommend that if the ventilation has been made worse or there’s no proof that it was not, replacement windows must be fitted with a background trickle ventilator. All installations of mechanical extract ventilation of new background ventilators must now come with guidance on the importance of the ventilation for the health of the building and its occupants. In addition, a commissioning sheet and checklist, with design flow rates and maintenance requirements, should also be provided at that time.
Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES)
This is the maximum space heating and cooling energy demand of zero carbon homes, these help to ensure that there is a good minimum standard for the installation for roofs, windows, and external doors.
What Are The Industry Concerns?
The documents are not without controversy. In the Part L amendments, for instance, a new principal performance metric, “Primary energy” is introduced to measure energy efficiency, taking into account factors like the efficiency of a building’s heating system, the energy used to produce fuel and deliver it to the building, and the efficiency of the power station for electricity. Primary energy is a controversial metric, with a majority (62.2 per cent) of respondents to the consultation disagreeing with its use as the main performance metric. Some feel it’s confusing and will change over time, and should thus be replaced with metrics that are more clear and meaningful, in order to avoid constructing new buildings that won’t meet the intended standards. The government plans to review the approach before the full Future Buildings Standard is implemented.
In the building industry, there are concerns regarding whether these documents have a realistic view of what’s necessary to achieve the intended energy efficiency goals. While built environment professionals are enthusiastic about moving closer to decarbonisation, their response to the new building regulations is decidedly more tepid. There is a concern that regulations must continue to tighten, in order to address the urgency of meeting 2025 Future Homes and Buildings Standards.
According to Simon Allford, RIBA president: “The new minimum standards for fabric efficiency and new Part O signal real progress, but without regulation of actual energy use, the build environment will not decarbonise at the rate required.”
Similarly, Alex Johnstone, an architect at Haworth Tompkins, opines: “The regulation is failing to provide a meaningful framework to design changes that will lead to necessary reductions in environmental impact.”
Contact Adam Window Centres Today!
Established since 1994, Adam Window Centres has been successfully managed throughout by Peter and Lesley Rowles. Their passion for customer satisfaction and unrivalled quality has elevated the company to one of Dorset’s leading independent home care specialists, awarded the British Standard in 2009. We are committed to meeting our customer’s needs with efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness, providing quality installations, surveyed and installed by our own employees, using no sub-contractors. Our prices are fair, with best prices given from the outset and no hard sell tactics used, and all of our work is covered by a ten year guarantee. To see our work, visit our Gallery Page or stop by our showroom in Dorset to experience our products first-hand. You can also call 01202 031151 or contact us through our website.