Friday, 2 May 2014

With almost half of the UK Co2 emissions coming from our buildings, we are in a staged process of increasing standards for the energy performance of all buildings.

The UK national target is for zero carbon emissions for all new housing by 2016 and for all other buildings by 2019, with a likely ban on inefficient commercial buildings being re-let from 2018.  By-products of this are more comfortable buildings to occupy, and financial savings from a reduction in our gas and electricity needs.

The latest step in this process became effective from April 2014 when new Building Regulations came in to effect for England. There are new Approved Documents L1A, L2A and amendments to L2A and L2B.

These do not affect regulations in Scotland which are expected to change at later date and are already more onerous than previous English & Welsh regulations. Regulations in Wales will be amended from 31st July 2014.

In summary: all new homes are to achieve a 6% reduction in carbon footprint over the 2010 regulations, with building fabric energy efficiency target (FEES) introduced.

Whilst for new non-domestic developments a 9% improvement on carbon reduction is brought in.

Minimum energy efficiency targets are being implemented for Air Conditioning systems and for Lighting, where a minimum 75% must be low energy fittings.

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