01404 549770 Get a free quote
Building regulation changes

In this article, we’ll go through the primary building regulation changes, and explore how they’ll impact future building work.

Why are these changes happening?

The building regulations changes are part of the government’s overall plan to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2055. As housing is a major contributing factor to these emissions, the goal here is to make homes more energy efficient.

The changes in June 2022, are part of a two-pronged attack that will pave the way for the Future Homes Standard (FHS) in 2025. The idea is that the building regulation changes in June will allow for a seamless transition into the FHS 2025. Initially targeting a 31% reduction in CO2 emissions in comparison with 2021 standards as a stepping stone to the 2025 introduction of FHS.

The Future Homes Standard

The Future Homes Standard is a set of requirements that are designed to complement the new building regulation changes. The goal of the FHS is to ensure that homes built from 2025 onwards produce up to 80% less carbon emissions than homes under the current regulations. This is in addition to the requirement to make new builds low carbon ready. The first move towards this is the introduction of low temperature heating systems in all new builds, with further changes setting out requirements for internal space to be allowed for to house heat pump technology in the future.

Building regulation changes; primary aims:

As we mentioned earlier, the main goal of the new building regulations is to make homes more energy efficient. They aim to achieve this by:

  • Reducing carbon emissions in both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Improving air tightness in buildings.
  • Reducing the risk of over heating in new builds.

How will the latest building regulations impact building work?

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) are making changes that relate to Approved Documents F, L and O and S. Approved Documents are official documents that outline how construction practices will meet the regulatory requirements.

Let’s explore each approved document in some more detail:

Approved Document F – Ventilation Volume – 1: Dwellings

Changes to building regulations in regard to ventilation will see improvements made to indoor air quality standards. The goal here being to reduce the spread of mould, air pollution, as well as airborne viruses.

To improve ventilation standards, background trickle ventilators will be recommended for all commercial buildings, as well as C02 monitors for office spaces. The updated building regulations will also recommend a minimum air supply rate of 0.5 l/s.m².

Approved Document L – Conservation of fuel and power – Volume 1: Dwellings

Changes to building regulations in relation to fuel and power consumption will affect a number of places, including doors, wall insulation, and heating systems. For example:

  • All wet space heating systems such as underfloor heating and radiators will have a new maximum flow temperature of 55˚C.
  • For new builds, the U-value (energy efficiency rating) for walls, windows, and doors will also be improved.
  • Where the heating system is being fully replaced in an existing building, including the heating appliance, emitters and associated pipework should be sized with a maximum flow temperature of 55˚C or lower, where feasible.
  • Where a gas boiler is installed in a new build, there will need to be a suitable sized PV array to accompany it.

Additionally, a new performance metric will also be put into place to measure your homes’ energy performance.

Approved Document O – Overheating

Updates to the new building regulations relating to Approved Document O aim to reduce the risk of overheating. Glazing limits will be set in order to reduce unwanted solar heat in new builds, care homes, schools, and student accommodation.

The updates will also see changes to the levels of cross-ventilation needed to remove excess heat, and removing the necessity for active cooling systems such as air conditioning.

Approved Document S – Electric vehicle charging

Building regulation changes to Approved Document S will see that all residential new builds are fitted with an electric vehicle charge point. Or, at the least preparatory work for the system put into place.

New building regulations for homeowners

What do the updated building regulations mean for homeowners?

If you are currently a homeowner that’s having building work done, such as an extension, loft conversion, or renovation, then you will need to work with your builder and architect to ensure the work falls in-line with the new building regulations.

However, if you have already submitted a building notice (prior to 15th June 2022), and they were approved, then they will be subject to the previous building regulations, and the work can still go ahead. Though it’s important to note here that the work must commence before 15th June 2023, otherwise you will have to reapply.

A lot of the latest building regulations apply to new builds, and so if you are thinking of buying a new build, then the construction company should be aware of the building regulation changes and plan accordingly.

However, legally, the responsibility ultimately lies with whoever owns the building, as it is them who will be served with a notice if the building does not comply with the updated building regulations. As such, you should keep to date with the changes, and ensure that any work you have done falls in-line with them.

What do the latest changes to Part L Buildings Regs mean for you?

Understand why the big changes affecting flow temperatures, boilers, and radiator sizing are happening and how they impact installers.

Watch masterclass

Part L Building Regs

More about Dan Clist

I'm the trainer here at Nu-Heat. I love the fact that my role gives me the opportunity to help more and more installers make the transition from fossil fuels into renewable technologies, and empowering them to do it in the right way.

More from the blog