Building Regulations Changes Take Effect in 2022 - Here's What You Need to Know
Important new Building Regs changes will impact new homes and some existing homes from June next year
New homes will have to produce around 30% less carbon emissions from 2022, as part of a major update to the Building Regulations announced on Wednesday Dec 15th 2021.
The significant update provides an uplift to existing energy efficiency standards for homes, and marks a stepping stone towards the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025.
The new Building Regulations comprise five new Approved Documents, including uplifts to Part L (fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation), which will come into effect from 15 June 2022, and will have a marked impact on new homes and existing homes. There is also an entirely new Part O to mitigate the risk of overheating in new homes. One key inclusion is that maximum limits to the amount of glazing will be set on new residential buildings.
Changes to building regulations will help UK deliver net zero
New homes will have to produce around 30% less CO2
New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government today to help the country move towards net zero.
Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.
Heating and powering buildings currently makes up 40% of the UK’s total energy use.
Installing low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, and using materials in a more energy efficient way to keep in heat will help cut emissions – lowering the cost of energy bills for families and helping deliver the UK’s climate change ambitions.
An entirely new Building Regulation and Approved Document O has been set up to mitigate the risk of overheating in new homes. One key inclusion is that maximum limits to the amount of glazing will be set on new residential buildings
New homes will adopt the Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard to measure energy efficiency
There will be a maximum flow temperature requirement of 55°C for new and replacement heating systems, as part of the Part L uplift
An appendix has been included in Part L which sets out a good practice specification for a home built with a heat pump.
All new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes, must also be designed to reduce overheating, making sure they are fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people. Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.
For existing homes: Uplifts to Part L & Part F of the Building Regulations have set new minimum standards for fabric efficiency. For example, there will be a new efficiency metric for the whole house calculation method for new extensions. There will be a requirement for new or replacement heating system designs to accept low-carbon heating in future, including integrating the latest Ecodesign appliance benchmarks.
The changes announced on Dec 15th 2021 to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.
They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner, greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting.
Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said: Climate change is the greatest threat we face and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations. The government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment. The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.
The new regulations come alongside £6.6 billion of direct investment into improving the energy efficiency of buildings during this Parliament. The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Local Authority Delivery scheme and Home Upgrade Grant scheme make grants available to low-income households for insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and other efficiency and decarbonisation measures.
Last week, a further £400 million of funding was announced for more than 200 local authority areas as part of a new Sustainable Warmth Competition.
The latest figures show almost half (46%) of the homes in England are now rated C or above for energy efficiency, compared to 14% in 2010.
Alongside amendments to the Building Regulations, 5 new Approved Documents have been released:
and an entirely new Approved Document O covering overheating
There will be a 6 month period before the new regulations come into force on 15 June 2022. Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.
As well as setting out measures for the 2021 uplift to the Building Regulations, the government response to the Future Buildings Standard consultation also sets out plans for the implementation of the Future Buildings Standard from 2025. This includes plans to start a full technical consultation on the FBS in 2025.