A Brief Guide to Part L of the Building Regulations for Dwellings
A Brief Guide to Part L of the Building Regulations for Dwellings – (Conservation of Fuel & Energy)
One of the key changes to the Building Regulations in recent years are the requirements brought about by the 2011 amendments to Part L of the Building Regulations (Conservation of Fuel & Energy).
The revisions had the following effects on the construction of dwellings when compared to the previous regime:
- An additional increase in the levels of insulation for walls, roofs, floors, external doors and windows.
- Increased levels of airtightness and an improvement in the efficiency of oil and gas boilers, as well as improvements in efficiency levels required for those considering boilers using renewable fuel sources.
It should also be noted that a key pillar of Part L of the Regulations is that each new dwelling should have a specified minimum level of energy provision from renewable technologies. To meet these requirements, people are increasingly considering the use of such technologies as Air to Water or Geothermal Heating Systems, Solar Panels, Biomass Boilers.
In relation to those building their own homes, the following key aspects are required:
- Ensure that the designer considers the conservation of fuel and energy early during the design process. This can be achieved in many ways, e.g. orientation of the house to maximise solar gain, ensuring the height of the property submitted at planning stage allows for voids for Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (should that technology be considered).
- A Dwelling Energy Assessment Report (DEAP) will need to be carried out early in the design process. This is essentially a site specific report for the property with input parameters such as the geometric dimensions of the house, the proposed construction type, the proposed airtightness, the type of heating system being used and the type of renewable technology being proposed. An output of this DEAP Report is whether or not the proposals conform to Part L of the Regulations and it will also provide a provisional Building Energy Rating (BER).
- During construction, close coordination is required with your builder (or subcontractors), as well as your designer to ensure that the property is being constructed in accordance with the DEAP Report. If any changes occur the DEAP Report needs to be revised to reflect these changes and conformance with Part L of the regulations needs to be maintained.
- An as-built BER for the property is required prior to occupation of the house.
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